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$ 250 billion single market – Congo’s joins East African Community

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has joined the East African Community (EAC), increasing the power of this free trade bloc to about a quarter of the African continent’s population and giving it access to the Atlantic Ocean, according to Bloomberg.

The country with the largest mineral wealth became the seventh member of the EAC, as the Heads of State agreed to join the bloc, whose total GDP corresponds to 193.7 billion dollars. The common market of East Africa, which With a total of 177 million people, it provides free movement of persons, services and capital between Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

“Working together, we have more to gain,” said Kenyan president and EAC chairman Uhuru Kenyatta during a teleconference attended by the bloc’s six members. “We fully understand the social and economic benefits that can be achieved from a strong regional bloc in a globalized world.”

The largest country in sub-Saharan Africa in size, the Democratic Republic of the Congo will provide a corridor from the shores of the Indian Ocean to those of the Atlantic to the bloc, boosting intra-African trade. The largest source of cobalt in the world and the largest source of copper in Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has a population of 90 million and a GDP of $ 54.8 billion.

The country has been led by Felix Tshisekedi since 2019, who succeeded Joseph Kabila, who held power for two decades, in the first peaceful transfer of power in the nation’s history. The Central African country’s economy is estimated to have grown by 5.7% in 2021, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The strongest and largest regional blocs such as the EAC are strengthening the Pan-African Free Trade Region, which covers the entire continent and became operational in January 2022.

Source: Capital

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