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TANZANIA - 24 Nov 2023

South Sudan’s Kiir takes over as EAC chairperson

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has assumed the chairmanship of the East African Community (EAC) during the final day of the economic bloc’s summit in Arusha, Tanzania on Friday.

“The Republic of South Sudan has assumed Chairmanship of the East African Community. H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan is the new Chairperson of the East African Community,” the EAC said in a statement.

President Salva Kiir took over from President Évariste Ndayishimiye of Burundi.

Kiir’s leadership arrives at a critical juncture for the EAC, confronting challenges like climate change, food insecurity, and economic disparities.

The EAC Chairperson slot is a rotational position, with each Member State holding the position for a one-year term.

The EAC consists of seven partner countries: Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda, and Tanzania, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

South Sudan officially joined the EAC on April 16, 2016.

Somalia has also become the eight Member after the Summit approved its bid to join the bloc on Friday, clearing the way for its accession.

“The EAC Summit of Heads of State admits the Federal Republic of Somalia as the 8th Member of the EAC in accordance with Article 3 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC,” announced the bloc in a separate statement.

President Kiir will serve as the primary Spokesperson for the EAC, scheduling, noticing, and calling public meetings, hearings, and other events.

In his address, President Kiir vowed to foster regional integration for greater prosperity and strategic security for the region.

"Guided by our vision for a prosperous, competitive, secure, stable and politically united East Africa, I will focus on enhancing integration within the region during my tenure and shall continue to focus on regional peace initiatives, strengthen security measures, advance political processes and establish emergency response mechanisms. All these will be aimed at promoting good governance," Kiir concluded.