During the final day of the 23rd Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State in Arusha on Friday, South Sudan President Salva Kiir assumed chair 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 took over from President Évariste Ndayishimiye of Burundi.
Kiir’s leadership arrives at a critical juncture for the EAC, confronting challenges like climate change, food insecurity, and economic disparities.
The EAC Chairperson slot is a rotational position, with each Member State holding the position for a one-year term.
The EAC consists of seven partner countries: Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda, and Tanzania, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
Somalia has also become the eight Member after the Summit approved its bid to join the bloc on Friday, clearing 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 will serve as the primary Spokesperson for the EAC, scheduling, noticing, and calling public meetings, hearings, and other events.
In situations where the president is unable to fulfill these duties due to other commitments, he has the authority to delegate a minister to represent him at the Summit.
South Sudan officially joined the EAC on April 16, 2016.