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The East African Federation (EAF) And The Somali Republic – Evaluation

16 min read

The Federal Republic of Somalia (3) will quickly be a part of the East African Neighborhood (EAC) however the EAC is completely different from all different regional financial integrations by explicitly stating its intention to create a federal sovereign nation referred to as the East African Federation (EAF). (1) Not one of the regional communities all through the world is that formidable. Even COMESA (Frequent Marketplace for Jap and Southern Africa), and Intergovernmental Authority on Improvement (IGAD) which Somalia belongs don’t have that ambition.

So, why does the Somali Republic have to hitch such a rustic given that every one our establishments are in disarray, our financial system is in shambles, and our nation isn’t unified? Why do now we have to lose our sovereignty? We have to commerce with our East African neighbors with out shedding our sovereignty and we should be an affiliate member quite than a full member.

Furthermore, does the current Somali authorities headed by President Hassan Mohamud have the suitable to preside over the dissolution of the Somali Republic, deprive us of our God-given proper to personal our pure sources, and give up our sovereignty by becoming a member of the East African Federation?


East African Federation Credit score: Wikipedia Commons

On June 6, 2023, the East African Neighborhood (EAC) heads of states’ twenty first Extraordinary summit assembly in Bujumbura, Burundi really useful the membership of the Somali Republic to the EAC, adopted the report of the verification of the
Somali Republic’s software, and urged the secretariat to provoke the mandatory steps, procedures, and negotiations to finish the method of the Somali Republic’s accession to the group. Thus, the Somali Republic will quickly be a part of the East African Neighborhood (EAC) after a couple of bureaucratic formalities are fulfilled, and within the subsequent odd session of the heads of state, the Somali Republic will probably be admitted into the EAC and after the ratification of the treaty by the Somali parliament, Somalia will probably be a full member. However do the Somali folks, perceive the importance of this epoch-making, earth-shattering occasion that can completely change the identification of the Somali individuals who have occupied the Somali peninsula since time immemorial?

Many Somalis that I talked to don’t have any clue about this treaty or have a superficial acquaintance of it; many shrug their shoulders and brush it off as one thing inconsequential; others use the improper analogy and examine it with the profitable European Union. For that reason, I really feel it’s vital that we open an sincere dialogue bereft of feelings and absolute, blind loyalty to the incumbent authorities that’s pushing for this mission. Allow us to begin the dialogue.

First, I perceive absolutely that eliminating commerce and non-trade obstacles is useful to the welfare and the usual of dwelling of the nations that create regional financial integrations. Commerce amongst nations permits them to specialise in what they’ll do greatest after which commerce with each other. And making the most of comparative benefit, issue endowments, and economies of scale, the financial system of the member nations turns into extra aggressive, and the welfare features, even when comparatively unequal amongst them, can profit all. There are few circumstances the place free commerce could be detrimental to the general welfare of a rustic. Nations lose when commerce diversion (4) is extreme, and the nation is obliged to import from members of the group that produce the products at a better value than the earlier suppliers now exterior the group. In different conditions, the inefficient producers of imported items might be devastated after they immediately discover themselves competing with extremely environment friendly producers of the products from member nations of the group. Technically the latter case will probably be outlined as commerce creation regardless that it supplants the inefficient producers of a member nation. However what issues is the general acquire of the group, and in the long term, the native corporations might regulate their operations and be extra aggressive.

Second, the Somali Republic’s industries have been destroyed due to the thirty years of civil conflict. Now, the nation doesn’t have any trade to boast of and we will be unable to compete with any nation on this earth within the foreseeable future. But, now we have an enormous unique financial zone that’s wealthy in fish and oil, an enormous territory that’s blessed with minerals which can be unexploited, and an honest arable agricultural land. Additionally, due to its location, Somalia can harness photo voltaic, wind, and wave power. So, even earlier than the primary oil nicely turns into productive, we will borrow billions of {dollars} from international nations and worldwide companies to develop our maritime sources for the advantage of our folks. We will create fishing communities alongside our lengthy shoreline and begin serving to our farmers to reconstitute their lives and use extra environment friendly scientific strategies to supply extra yield per acre. Now our nation is in very dangerous form and may be very near falling aside. Additionally, it’s infested with very militant terrorist teams that consider that everyone is an apostate who based on their perverted worldview deserves to die.

And the actual fact that the EAC is accepting us in our current state of affairs must be a crimson flag. ATMIS (African Transition Mission in Somalia) forces will go away in December 2024 however in all probability Kenyan, Ugandan, and Burundi troops will keep since they may evolve into the East African Neighborhood Regional drive which is able to later metamorphose into the Nationwide Military of the East African Federation. This implies they are going to be completely stationed on the future EAF (East African Federation) headquarters at Halane in Mogadishu. These later troops will probably be in “their nation” for the reason that Somali Republic will turn into a province of the East African Federation!

Third, financial integration goes via numerous phases resembling preferential commerce agreements, free commerce, customs union, frequent market, and financial union. Because the group goes via these phases, the combination will get deeper. On the preferential commerce settlement degree, tariffs are decreased for the products and companies of some nations (5). An instance is the Lomé Conference of 1975 between the European Financial Neighborhood (EEC) and sure earlier colonies of some members of the EEC. Somalia grew to become an affiliate member of the EEC due to that conference since we have been beforehand an Italian colony. That’s the reason Somalia used to export bananas to the EEC nations earlier than it collapsed. The second stage is free commerce, and, on this stage, the commerce obstacles and non-trade obstacles are eradicated however every nation is free to keep up its exterior tariff to the remainder of the world. U.S.-Mexico-Canada Settlement (USMCA), previously often called North American Free Commerce Settlement (NAFTA), is an effective instance. On the customs union stage, nations undertake, along with the elimination of the commerce obstacles between them, a standard exterior tariff towards the non-member nations of the group. Mercosur (6) (The Frequent Market of the Southern Corn) based by Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay in 1991 began as a customs union. The Frequent market stage follows the customs union and labor, and capital can transfer freely between the nations. The ultimate stage of financial integration is financial and financial union, and at this stage, nations undertake a standard financial coverage and should undertake a standard foreign money. It took Europe from 1957 (Treaty of Rome) to 1993 (Maastricht Treaty) to achieve this stage. That is the final trajectory of financial integration, however nations can skip sure phases or freeze their financial integration at a decrease stage.

East African Federation

The EAC agreed in 1999 to create an financial integration based mostly on 4 pillars: customs union, frequent market, financial union, and eventually political federation. In November 1999, the three companion states Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania signed a treaty and launched into the journey of financial integration. That treaty got here into impact in July 2000. These nations had an earlier financial interplay and way back to 1907, Kenya and Uganda had fashioned a customs union. And in 1967 they created the East African Neighborhood which later collapsed in 1977 on account of ideological, and financial components. So, the brand new treaty is a rehash of the earlier one in a brand new kind. It’s the revival of the earlier one albeit modified with the advantage of hindsight and the collected expertise. Furthermore, the three founders of the EAC nations have been British colonies other than Tanganyika (7) which was dominated by the Germans earlier than the primary world conflict. Within the yr 2007, Rwanda and Burundi have been admitted into the union, and in 2015, South Sudan grew to become a full member. And in 2022, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) joined the EAC.

Worrying in regards to the sluggish tempo of the combination, the three companion states of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania agreed, way back to 2004, to fast-track the combination course of and created the Wako committee to review methods of engaging in that. After getting the Wako report, the companion states instantly went forward with implementing the treaty goals spelled out in Article 5, section2.

Thus, the EAC customs protocol establishing the customs union was signed in Arusha on March 2, 2004, and dedicated the member companion states to steadily cut back commerce and non-trade obstacles every year for the next 5 years to zero. The EAC Frequent Market protocol was established in Arusha in 2010 and entered full drive in 2015. After this date, parring security and safety points, the nationals of every nation can journey freely within the territory of the EAC and there’s additionally no restriction for capital to maneuver from one nation to the opposite. Every nation is obliged to not discriminate towards the residents of the group and to deal with them because the nationals of their nation. As well as, they’ll set up residence wherever they need within the EAC.

The Somali Republic can be a member of COMESA (Frequent Marketplace for Jap and Southern Africa, and IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Improvement). So, since COMESA has extra formidable commerce plans, allow us to examine it with the EAC.

The Frequent Marketplace for Jap and Southern Africa (COMESA)

Map of Africa indicating COMESA membership. Darkish inexperienced present members, gentle inexperienced former members. Credit score: Wikipedia Commons

The Preferential Commerce Space for Jap and Southern Africa (PFA), the precursor of COMESA, was established in December
1981 and the Somali Democratic Republic was one of many founding members. In 1994, the PFA was modified to COMESA and it has its headquarters in Lusaka, Zambia.

The Somali Republic’s standing was reactivated in 2018 when former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre reinstituted Somalia’s membership. Now, COMESA has 21 members stretching from Tunisia all the best way to Eswatini and is the biggest regional financial group in Africa. Most members of the EAC are additionally members of COMESA. So, it doesn’t make any sense why we should be within the EAC as a result of COMESA will do virtually all the pieces that EAC can do for us. The one distinction is that beneath COMESA we are going to retain our sovereignty whereas buying and selling with its members however beneath EAC we are going to lose our sovereignty, our independence, and our freedom as a Somali state. A province beneath the EAF will neither be free nor unbiased nor sovereign. The worldwide standing of the Somali Republic will probably be demoted to that of a neighborhood province, and the Somali nation will probably be disbursed amongst 300 million folks.

However why will we, Somalis, want to hitch this East African group?

We don’t have to hitch the EAC. It isn’t a should. It’s a selection. However whose selection is it? Are the Somalis conscious of what’s going on?

Most Somalis don’t perceive what’s going on and people who heard about it don’t know what the Somali Republic is stepping into. Sure, the East Africans are our brothers and sisters and due to our geographic location, we should commerce with them. Each rational human being accepts that logic and one can deny it solely at his or her personal financial detriment with the resultant lack of welfare and way of life. However benefiting from the group economically is completely different than shedding our sovereignty completely.

The character of the group dictates that we are going to lose our sovereignty if we be a part of it. And it’s no secret that EAC will probably be a federation of companion states. Political Federation is likely one of the 4 pillars of the EAC, and it’s said explicitly in Article 5, part 2 of the 2000 treaty. On this sense, the EAC is completely different from all different financial integration communities which were created to date. Not one of the eight African financial integration communities acknowledged by the UN8: AMU, UAMU, CEN-SAD, COMESA, ECCAS, ECOWAS, IGAD, and SADC, have of their goals, apart from EAC, the creation of a federal state. Not one of the treaties of those communities state explicitly the creation of a federation. Even the Continental African Free Settlement doesn’t point out that.

However no person can deny that the predominately Kiswahili-speaking East African nations have the suitable to create an EAF. These nations have centuries of interplay and intermarriage; they’ve comparable cultures and virtually 90% of them profess and apply Christianity, and since they’ve comparable cultures, they created an establishment that can solely work on the event and diffusion of Kiswahili within the EAC. Their plan is to make it the lingua franca of the group. That’s good for them however what in regards to the Somali Republic? What would be the destiny of our nation and our nation?

The Somali Republic will fade away and disappear.

In Could 2017, the EAC leaders agreed to introduce one other step within the sequence of the pillars of the EAC. They adopted a confederal political system as a transitional mannequin for the upcoming fully-fledged political federation. And so they commissioned a bunch of consultants to draft a structure for the Accomplice state. Issues have been going nicely and progressing, however the COVID-19 pandemic retarded the progress of it. With a brand new vigor, the group of consultants restarted their work in Could 2023 and now they’re consulting with the native folks in every companion nation for concepts to create a folks’s structure that satisfies all and that has the help of the folks and civil society.

As soon as the confederation is created and as soon as it lastly evolves right into a federation, the EAC will probably be a single federal sovereign nation with its capital at Arusha, Tanzania; the nation can have a president, a single foreign money, and all of the beforehand sovereign nations will lose their earlier standing and will probably be subsumed beneath an enormous sovereign state referred to as East African Federation. Every nation will turn into a province in that federal state. The EAF will probably be a world sovereign entity upheld by worldwide regulation and its sovereignty and its territorial integrity will probably be revered by the worldwide group.

So, when the Somali Republic accedes to the EAC and the Somali parliament ratifies it, it implies that the Somali Republic accepts the treaty, all of the protocols, and the annexes of the group; it implies that the Somali Republic is surrendering its sovereignty voluntarily and with out duress or coercion; It implies that there is no such thing as a longer a rustic referred to as the Somali Republic, and it means the tip of the lengthy journey of the Somali folks to have a nation-state of their very own. Your destiny is not in your fingers, and you might be on the mercy of nameless politicians in Arusha , Tanzania deciding your destiny.

What’s the consequence of the lack of sovereignty?

The primary casualty will probably be our pure sources. It’s going to not be ours solely however based mostly on the 1962 UN decision (1803) of the everlasting sovereignty of nations over their pure sources, it would belong to the EAF. Even the maritime dispute between Kenya and the Somali Republic that was adjudicated by the worldwide courtroom of Justice and that dominated in favor of Somalia will probably be irrelevant since Kenya and the Somali Republic will probably be two provinces in the identical nation. All Somalia’s pure sources, whether or not oil, fuel, minerals, or fish, would be the frequent property of 300 million folks. It won’t be a solace that we equally share with theirs.

The second casualty will probably be our land. As our nation -the Somali Republic- is a sparsely populated nation, the Somali territory will probably be overrun not by an invading military however by the co-citizens of the EAF. In accordance with the EAC frequent market protocol of 2010, all restrictions to the motion of labor and capital have been to be eradicated by the yr 2015. Now the EAC group members use the EAC passport or an ID card to maneuver from one nation to the opposite.

Furthermore, as soon as the group turns into a single sovereign nation, everyone can reside the place she or he needs. Inside a couple of years, the Somalis will probably be a minority in their very own nation, and they’re going to undergo the identical destiny because the Native People in North, Central, and South America.

Fellow Somalis, welcome to the world of indigenous minorities.

What in regards to the European Union?

“However wait a minute, the European Union is essentially the most profitable financial integration, and its individuals are comparatively completely satisfied, and affluent, and are having fun with the advantage of the large European market.” One could say and dismiss my assertions as emanating from a ‘narrow-minded’ nationalist.

The reply to that’s that the European Union isn’t a political federation however an financial union. No extra, no much less. Within the early Nineteen Fifties, there was a debate between federal functionalists and political federalists. The federal functionalists drew on earlier mental contributions of functionalists resembling David Mitrany (9) who believed that the cooperation of countries in non- political, technical areas will draw the world collectively and set up peace amongst nations. The United Nations and its multi-agencies are based mostly on that idea. Later that idea was utilized by Jean Monnet (10) and Robert Schuman (11) to jump-start European cooperation on non-technical areas believing that as nations labored in these areas, and as others see the success, an enmeshed net of additional success will snowball resulting in spill-over to different areas and additional integration.

Quite the opposite, the political federalists whose main determine was Altiero Spinelli (12) feared the return of the beforehand privileged elites that dominated European states earlier than the second world conflict and whom they suspected would pursue the identical nationalist disastrous insurance policies that introduced Europe to damage two instances within the twenties century. To transcend nation-states with their attendant nationalism, they wished to create a federal state of Europe the place the earlier loyalties would shift to a brand new European nation.

Each concepts competed for some time. The federal functionalists’ concepts began to develop roots within the type of the European Coal and Metal Neighborhood (ECSC), and the European Atomic Vitality Neighborhood (EAEC). The ECSC group was the primary to have a supranational establishment referred to as the excessive authority which is equal to the present-day European fee. Additionally, the Federalists appeared to be profitable when the European Political Neighborhood (EPC) was proposed as an amalgamation of the EDC (European Protection Neighborhood), and the ECSC, however this mission floundered when the French parliament didn’t ratify the EDC out of worry of shedding French sovereignty. Thus in 1957, solely the ECSC, EAEC, and the EEC (European Financial Neighborhood) have been included within the Treaty of Rome. The functionalist had gained, and Europe launched into that street.

Seeing that the European Union is profitable, many individuals neglect that its success is because of its focus and concern predominately on financial issues and insurance policies that promote that. Sixty-six years after the Treaty of Rome, no European Union member has misplaced its sovereignty, and every nation has the choice of leaving the group. United Kingdom left the EU after a referendum (BREXIT). That choice isn’t open for the East African Federation members. As soon as we turn into a member of the EAF, we will probably be locked in that entity perpetually, and we will’t withdraw from the federation peacefully. If we’re unhappy and we wish to go away, we will probably be handled like a rebellious province, and the EAF federal authorities can have the sovereign proper to protect its territorial integrity.


President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud is committing a really severe mistake when he thinks that Somalis will observe together with him to hitch the East African Federation and give up their sovereignty. Actually, this mission will pit Somali folks towards each other and logically many Somali areas will reject this deal, hint their very own path, and make offers with neighboring nations for higher financial preparations that fall brief off both a union or federation. On the similar time, this mission will create a rift between the Somali folks and our East African brothers and sisters as a result of making the most of the Somali folks at its worst hour when all its establishments are embryonic and weak; when its individuals are torn aside by battle and distrust; and

when its financial system is in shambles would be the top of callousness and unfriendliness. However worse of all this mission runs the danger of making extra recruits for terrorist teams.

Due to this fact, my recommendation to the Somali authorities is to again down and accept a much less formidable, much less suicidal objective resembling being an affiliate member of the East African Federation as an alternative of being a full member. And in the meantime, the Somali authorities ought to work arduous to deliver the Somali folks collectively as an alternative of including extra issues to our present ones.


  1. EAF will probably be a sovereign federal state consisting of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.
  2. Hamid Masheye is the previous State Minister for Overseas Affairs of the Federal Republic of Somalia.
  3.  On this paper, Federal Republic of Somalia, Somali Republic, and Somalia consult with the identical nation.
  4. Jacob Viner, a Canadian economist, developed and popularized the idea of commerce creation and commerce diversion in 1950.
  5. Now, beneath World Commerce Group regulation, reducing tariffs with out doing the identical for all different nations will violate the Most Favored Nation precept (MFN). That’s the reason Lome Conference was modified to the Cotonou Settlement and the variety of nations was expanded.
  6. The Frequent Marketplace for the South is thought for its Spanish acronym Mercosur (Mercado Comun del Sur).
  7. Tanganyika joined Zanzibar in 1964 and fashioned Tanzania.
  8. Arab Maghreb Union (AMU), Neighborhood of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD), Frequent Marketplace for Jap and Southern Neighborhood (COMESA), Financial Neighborhood Southern African States (ECCAS), Financial Neighborhood of West African States (ECOWAS), Intergovernmental Authority on Improvement (IGAD), and Southern African Improvement Neighborhood (SADC).
  9. David Mitrany was a Romanian who spent most of his grownup life in Britain and the USA. He theorized about how one can obtain world peace, believed that the reason for wars was nationalism and that cooperation of nations in non- technical areas will tie them collectively, and
  10. Jean Monnet was the pinnacle of the French Financial Planning Fee after the second world conflict.
  11. Robert Schuman was the French Overseas Minister within the early Nineteen Fifties and he popularized the ECSC (the European Coal and Metal Neighborhood). ECSC is also referred to as Schuman plan.
  12. Altiero Spinelli was an Italian politician and a European federalist.
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