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Museveni Cheers Historic Moment as Somalia Joins EAC as 8th Member, Paving the Way for Prosperity Among Wananchi

Since 1986, with Kenya and Tanzania joining efforts, the NRM has worked towards restoring the EAC bloc.

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By Ivan Kaahwa

President Museveni recently attended the East African Community summit in Arusha, where Somalia was admitted as the eighth member state, increasing the population to over 300 million people, approximately 56% of the size of the USA. Somalia’s inclusion is part of a concerted effort to streamline economic integration, fostering prosperity through increased production of goods and services.

President Museveni emphasized the importance of every adult engaging in productive activities to enhance livelihoods, while the governments must provide robust social support in health, education, and infrastructure, creating an enabling environment for wealth creation through safeguarding peace and implementing policies that boost productivity and prosperity.

President Museveni argued that internal markets alone could not sustain prosperity, urging member states to find lasting solutions for their products to penetrate external markets, drawing parallels with China and India seeking external markets despite their large populations.

He highlighted the historical challenges faced by the EAC, noting its collapse in 1977 due to tensions sparked by uprisings in Uganda in 1971. However, since 1986, with Kenya and Tanzania joining efforts, the NRM has worked towards restoring the EAC bloc.

He paid tribute to key figures like Mwalimu Nyerere, Wazee Hassan Mwinyi, Arap Moi, Ben Mkapa, and Mwai Kibaki for their roles in the EAC’s resurrection. He also extended gratitude to the leaders of Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, and the DRC for their commitment to joining the EAC. The president highlighted Somalia’s admission, despite previous disruptions in 1968 by a coup led by the late Idi Amin Dada in Uganda, which affected Somalia and Zambia’s requests to join the EAC.

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