What does DR Congo joining EAC mean?

Author: Patrick Katagata. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

  • The ultimate aim is to form the East African Federation by close of 2030. If the plan works as written, Africa Mashariki will be one of the most powerful countries in the history of humanity.

On March 23, a friend shared a WhatsApp post, in part, reading: “The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will join the East African Community on March 29…The EAC has a common custom union and has standardised and ratified rules to allow one currency, one free market, and free movement and residence of all member citizens.

The ultimate aim is to form the East African Federation by close of 2030. If the plan works as written, Africa Mashariki will be one of the most powerful countries in the history of humanity. However, foreign partners are not happy with the deal, and keep arm-twisting, confusing and bribing different partners to leave the union, or simply sabotage the process …what do you think can be done to avoid such interferences?” Whereas these may be dismissed as allegations, they are not completely redundant!

In 2014, a friend and I authored an African resource-focused ‘prophetic’ concept seeking, through creative synergy, to work with regional blocs, African Union and Heads of State in: Uganda; Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, DRC, South Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia, inter-alia, to explore in depth, and put to transformative use, the region’s untapped insurmountable resource potential—mineral, natural and human, to deter contemptible foreign interference—and impositions, as often witnessed. Interestingly, South Sudan, had, by then, not joined EAC; DRC is joining; and Somalia and Ethiopia have applied to join!

Hooray President Museveni for his unequivocal Pan-African mindset in revamping [original] EAC, and like, ‘a fruitful vine whose branches climb over the wall’ [Genesis 49:22], for extending to our neighbours, in peace and friendship to live—One People One Destiny, to build a better community.

 I am positive about East African Federation, too. [The] political federation is the ultimate goal of the EAC Regional Integration, the fourth step after the customs union, common market and monetary union.

It is provided for under Article 5(2) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC. But why would African unity bother foreigners? How can Africa contrive a union unfettered? If successful, the federation envisages: common foreign and security policies; good governance and effective implementation to buttress regional unity and development. Moreover, even foreign reports and analyses [lest figures be suspected overrated] show that nearly half the world’s gold and one-third of all minerals are in Africa.

These are raw-materials to most of the world’s prized innovations. DR Congo’s Katanga alone has many minerals.

DR Congo and Rwanda produce half of, and are the world’s largest producers of tantalum, used in electronics—tantalum capacitors, in mobile phones, laptops, etc. DRC is Africa’s largest industrial diamond producer! For lack of space, I have reserved oil in Uganda, South Sudan and DRC itself; Diamond in Tanzania; soda ash in Kenya, Uganda’s copper, tin, etc. Remember, Africa’s colonisation hinged mainly upon mineral and natural resources, including River Nile. Interestingly, Western-funded African conflicts accrue from the same. A resource-endowed and united [East] Africa threatens foreign exploiters who will hastily frustrate it.

Here are, but only a few self-redemptive calls for Africa: co-operate and rise in purposeful and united solidarity to support our leaders in deterring any unsolicited, irrelevant and contemptuous foreign impositions (however slight) in management of our Affairs; only build and uphold strategic and/or mutually interdependent alliances; and leaders should exemplify political discipline—reinforce Pan-Africanism, abhor colonial mentality and delete citizenry divisive colonial borderlines and advance.

Mr Patrick Katagata Jr. is a Former MP aspirant for Buhweju County. [email protected]