What you need to know:
- Ndayishimiye will take over from his Kenya counterpart, President Uhuru Kenyatta
Arusha. Burundi’s President Evariste Ndayishimiye has been elected chairman of the East African Community (EAC) during the 22nd Ordinary Summit of EAC Heads of State held in Arusha, on Friday July 22, 2022.
Ndayishimiye will take over from his Kenya counterpart, President Uhuru Kenyatta who assumed office in March 2021.
He was announced as new EAC leader, by the outgoing chairman, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta during the closure of the two-day summit held in Arusha.
Speaking shortly after he was elected, President Ndayishimiye thanked his fellow Heads of State for the faith they showed in him and promised to further the objectives of the bloc.
He said he will ensure that women and youth are given opportunity in the bloc but also will expand use of Kiswahili.
President Ndayishimiye promised to improve the EAC common market but also to speed up the procedures for Somalia to officially join the bloc
For his part, the outgoing EAC chairman president Kenyatta thanked the cooperation he was given by the EAC Heads of State, the East African Council of Ministers and the secretariat of the community.
He said that the East African Community has gained many success and has done many great things and he is leaving believing that all that they have planned will be executed.
President Kenyatta said that among the great achievements of the bloc, is the establishment of the common market protocol which has stimulated the economy of the member states.
He mentioned other success as the implementation of several infrastructure projects that connect member countries in Uganda and Kenya, Kenya and Tanzania, projects in Rwanda, Burundi and projects that connect the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other EAC countries.
"Today is my last EAC meeting with Heads of State, I would like to say that we have been very successful and there are things to accomplish and one of them being the establishment of the East African Confederation and to officially admit Somalia as the bloc’s new member,” he said.
Four Presidents were in attendance, Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania, Burundi’s Evarist Ndayishimiye, Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta and Uganda’s Yoweri. Other members, Rwanda, DRC and South Sudan sent representatives.
The EAC is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, and DRC.
The work of the EAC is guided by its treaty, which established the community. It was signed in November 1999 and came into force in July 2000 following its ratification.