On Friday, during the concluding day of the 23rd Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State in Arusha, President Salva Kiir of South Sudan took over the leadership of the East African Community (EAC) Summit.
“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 succeeded President Évariste Ndayishimiye of Burundi.
Kiir’s leadership is taking place during a crucial period for the East African Community (EAC), where it grapples with challenges such as climate change, food insecurity, and economic disparities.
The position of EAC Chairperson is rotated among member states, each holding the role for a one-year term.
The EAC comprises seven partner countries: Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda, and Tanzania, with its headquarters situated in Arusha, Tanzania.
Furthermore, Somalia has recently become the eighth member, as its bid to join the bloc was approved during the Summit on Friday, paving 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 is designated as the main spokesperson for the EAC, responsible for arranging, announcing, and convening public meetings, hearings, and various events.
If the president is unable to carry out these responsibilities due to prior commitments, he is authorized to appoint a minister to act on his behalf at the Summit.
South Sudan became an official member of the EAC on April 16, 2016.