Somali president off to Tanzania to attend Horn of Africa summit as observer

Somali president off to Tanzania to attend Horn of Africa summit as observer

Somalia has applied to join 7-state East African Community, but its application has been frozen due to country's instability

By Magdalene Mukami

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AA) - Somalia’s president left for Tanzania on Thursday to attend an East African Community (EAC) summit in an attempt to join the Horn of Africa's regional bloc.

According to Somali National Television, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has left for Arusha, Tanzania to attend the EAC summit, which began on Thursday.

The EAC is an intergovernmental organization made up of seven East African countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda.

This March, the Democratic Republic of the Congo was the last to join the regional alliance. While Somalia has applied to join the bloc, its application has been frozen due to the country's instability.

Mohamud, who took office on May 23 and has been invited as an observer, will be formally introduced to the EAC leaders at the summit by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is now the bloc's chair.

If Somalia joins the EAC, its overall GDP will rise from $193 billion to $240 billion, according to economists.

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