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EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY

STATEMENT BY AMB. DR. RICHARD SEZIBERA,
SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE EAST AFRICAN
COMMUNITY, DURING THE SIGNING CEREMONY OF
THE TREATY OF ACCESSION TO EAC BY THE
REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN
15TH APRIL, 2016
STATE HOUSE, DAR ES SALAAM

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His Excellency Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli,
Chairperson of the EAC Summit of Heads of State;
His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the
Republic of South Sudan;
Hon. Ambassador Dr. Augustine Mahiga, Chairperson,
Council Of Ministers;
Honorable Members of the Council of Ministers;
The Rt. Hon. Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and
Members of EALA;
My Lord Hon. Justice Dr. Emmanuel Ugirashebuja, Judge
President of the East African Court of Justice and Lord
Justices present;
Excellencies Ambassadors and High Commissioners;

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Senior Officials and Colleagues from the EAC Organs and
Institutions;
Invited Guests;
Members of the Media;
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen;
Let me begin by thanking H.E. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli,
Chairperson of the East African Community and President of
the United Republic of Tanzania for the warm welcome
accorded to all the guests to this historic event taking place
here in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

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Allow me also to welcome H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President
of the Republic of South Sudan to his first function as a
Potential Member of the Summit of EAC Heads of State.
Tunakukaribisha kwa Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki!
I would like on behalf of the EAC to thank the Summit for
making the wise decision to admit the Republic of South Sudan
(RSS) into the Community, and the Council of Ministers for
successfully steering the long negotiations between the EAC
and South Sudan which culminated into the latter’s admission
into the Community.
The Republic of South Sudan applied for admission into the
East African Community on 10th November, 2011.

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She requested that consideration of the application be
considered on an expedited basis. I wish to thank the Summit
for agreeing to fast-track consideration of the application and
directing the Council of Ministers to do likewise. The Council of
Ministers constituted a Verification Team which undertook a
verification mission to South Sudan between 15th and 31st July,
2012. In furtherance of Summit decisions, teams from the
Republic of South Sudan visited the Secretariat and held
multiple meetings with Officials. The Secretary General also led
a team to Juba to hold discussions with His Excellency the
President, Members of Government, as well as different sectors
of South Sudanese society.

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These

discussions

helped

dispel

some

of

the

incomprehensions that obtained then about the rationale for,
and process of admission of South Sudan into the East African
Community.
When possible and feasible, the Republic of South Sudan was
associated with some of the technical meetings and capacity
building activities of the Community.
Upon consideration of the outcome of Verification Mission, the
14th Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State held on
30th November, 2012 directed the Council of Ministers to
commence

negotiations

with

RSS

while

taking

into

consideration the findings of the Verification Committee Report.

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Based on that directive, the 30th Meeting of the Council of
Ministers adopted a roadmap for the negotiations with RSS and
approved the commencement of the negotiations to be
undertaken

at

three

levels

namely;

Technical

Team;

Permanent/Principal Secretaries, and the Ministerial/Cabinet
Secretaries.
The negotiations were carried out between March and October,
2015 at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. The
negotiations were organized in four clusters namely:
Cluster 1: Legal and Judicial matters; Security, Political and
Foreign Policy matters; Defence and Security and Institutional
Development matters (Budget, Audit & Finance, and Resource
Mobilization);
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Cluster 2: Customs & Trade; Financial and Economic matters;
Cluster 3: Infrastructure and Services; and
Cluster 4: Cross Cutting Issues including Agriculture, Food
Security, Natural Resource Management, Tourism and Wildlife,
Health,

Culture

and

Sports,

Gender

and

Community

Development, Labour and Migration and Human Resource
Development.
Negotiations at the Ministerial/Cabinet Secretaries levels were
concluded in October

2015;

and the

Ministers/Cabinet

Secretaries observed that RSS meets the threshold for
admission into EAC; and that there will be need for capacity
building, sensitization and institutional strengthening for it

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(RSS) to attain the requisite capacity to implement EAC
projects and programmes.
Negotiations of South Sudan’s accession to the EAC was truly
accelerated timeline to their logical conclusion, which clearly
showed the willingness of all stakeholders to have the world’s
newest nation join the East African community.
Your Excellencies,
Today’s event is what the people of East Africa and their
brothers and sisters in the Republic of South Sudan have
waited for with anticipation since Africa’s youngest country
became independent nearly five years ago.
There are a number of steps that the RSS will have to take in
order to participate effectively in the integration process. For
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instance, RSS shall commence implementation of the EAC
Customs Union and Common Market protocols three (3) years
after the coming into force of the Accession Treaty that will be
signed here today.
Furthermore, the RSS is committed to participate in all
technical and policy meetings and related activities on
Customs, Trade and the Common Market once they become
members of the EAC.
The EAC Secretariat will work with the RSS in developing a
detailed Roadmap on the implementation of EAC projects and
programmes within six months of its accession.
Even more encouraging is that South Sudan will waive visa
fees for East Africans once they become members of the EAC,
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with EAC Partner States reciprocating the move accordingly for
South Sudanese citizens.
Your Excellencies,
The young nation’s entry into the Community makes our region
a bigger market with increased potential for growth for the over
162 million EAC citizens. The expansion of the EAC market
will no doubt promote business and general economic
development in addition to bringing as closer to the African
Union’s dream of an African Economic Community.

As I conclude, I urge the people of East Africa to welcome our
brothers and sisters from South Sudan into the Community with
open arms. We as a Community are excited for them having
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joined us at last. We believe South Sudan cannot live in
isolation because they are part and parcel of this region and it
is important that we work with them to resolve some of the
challenges that they are having.
I thank you for your kind attention.
Ahsanteni sana!
It is now my pleasure to request Hon. …………………, Minister
of ……………………… to come for an exchange of flags.

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