Browsing: DRC joins EAC

With the recent addition of the DRC to the East African region, landlocked countries have found an alternative port of entry in the Atlantic Ocean. The swiftness of trade with two ports of entry and the region’s strategic location will be incomparable to any other region on the continent.

The East African Federation would be the fourth largest country in both population and landmass, trailing after China, India and the United States. President Uhuru Kenyatta says that the federation would have over 300 million people.

The gross domestic product for the region will sum up to US$250 billion, the fourth-largest in Africa and the 34th biggest globally. Since the beginning of the last decade, East Africa has had the fastest growing economy globally. In 2019, the region’s economy grew by about 5 per cent. If the federation continues with this growth rate, the new country would quickly become the biggest superpower in Africa.

The EAF would become Africa’s largest superpower precisely because of the weaker nations surrounding the region. Among the languages official languages suggested in the region will be English and Swahili.

“Concerning the management of the mineral resources sector, the Partner States agree, among other things, to promote joint exploration, efficient exploitation and sustainable utilization of shared mineral resources,” the treaty reads in part. The World Bank notes that DRC’s natural resources are diverse and immense in its country report. The country has the world’s second-largest primary humid tropical rainforest endowment and carbon sink globally. 

“However, forest loss rates have accelerated in recent years, and in 2020, the DRC lost 1.31 million ha of natural forest, equivalent to 854 million tonnes of CO₂ of emissions. This has had deleterious environmental impacts (including rainfall patterns, biodiversity, and climate change) and is threatening the livelihoods of the 35 million people who depend on forest resources,” World Bank says in the report.

World Bank’s collaborations in energy sector investments have been intended to rehabilitate transmission networks and hydropower plants, raise Inga’s electricity production by 632 MW and augment power supply to mines, but with limited investment in the distribution network segment. However, the civil war caused insecurity, seeing DRC struggle to maximize its resources, particularly mines.