Somalia’s Potential Accession To The East African Community: A Diplomatic Foray In Nairobi – OpEd


In a significant move signaling Somalia’s keen interest in integrating further with its East African neighbors, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has dispatched his foremost diplomats to Nairobi. These delegates aren’t just representatives; they are specialists, divided into three teams to comprehensively address the core themes of the negotiations: political, legal and institutional issues; infrastructure; and economy and trade.

The division into specialized teams underscores the depth and breadth of the discussions. Each team will delve deep into their respective themes, ensuring that all aspects of Somalia’s potential membership are thoroughly examined. Given the intricate nature of these subjects, a multifaceted approach guarantees that every issue, from legal implications to infrastructural needs, receives adequate attention.

Another crucial issue on the negotiation table is the security of Somalia’s only land border with the EAC, which it shares with Kenya. Given the historical sensitivities and the importance of a secure and peaceful border for seamless trade and regional stability, this topic is expected to be a focal point of the discussions.

The potential benefits of Somalia joining the EAC are numerous. Economically, Somalia would gain access to a larger market, and in return, EAC members could tap into Somalia’s emerging sectors, especially fisheries and livestock. Strategically, this move could enhance regional stability, promoting stronger cross-border cooperation in areas like security, trade, and infrastructure development.

However, challenges loom. Concerns regarding Somalia’s ongoing security issues, its political stability, and economic infrastructure are prevalent. Still, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s decision to send a specialized delegation to Nairobi emphasizes Somalia’s determination to meet the EAC standards and display its readiness for membership.

The East African region and the world at large will closely monitor these negotiations. The outcome could shape the trajectory of East African integration and accentuate the significance of regional cooperation in our increasingly interconnected world.

The November summit will offer final clarity. It remains to be seen if Somalia will secure its position within the EAC, but with the combined efforts of the Somali and EAC representatives, the hopes are high for a new era in East African unity and collaboration.

Ismail D. Osman

Ismail D. Osman is a Former Deputy Director of Somalia National Intelligence & Security Agency (NISA) – Writes in Somalia, Horn of Africa Security and Geopolitical focusing on governance and security. You can reach him [email protected] @osmando

One thought on “Somalia’s Potential Accession To The East African Community: A Diplomatic Foray In Nairobi – OpEd

  • August 27, 2023 at 4:54 am

    Somalia is fundamentally incompatible with the EAC as a political project on a deeply civilizational, ethnolinguistic, religious, and even climatic level.


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