South Sudan President Salva Kiir is now the new East Africa Community (EAC) chairperson.
Kiir will be taking over from Burundi’s President Evariste Ndayishimiye who served as the chair for one year.
“The President of the Republic of South Sudan will be the new chairperson of the community,” read a statement signed by EAC Heads of State during the 23rd Ordinary Summit, held in Arusha, Tanzania.
The Heads of State commended Ndayishimiye for a good job during his tenure and his commitment to ensuring the development of the region.
“The EAC congratulates Evariste Ndayishimiye, the outgoing EAC Chairperson, for his astute leadership and commitment to regional integration. In particular, his dedication in steering the region’s quest for regional peace and security leaves an indelible mark in the region,” said EAC Secretary-General Mutuku Mathuki.
Kiir on the other hand pledged to foster regional integration throughout member states.
"South Sudan is committed to regional integration. As incoming Chair, I pledge to foster regional integration for the greater prosperity of the region," said Kiir.
Other changes made include the inclusion of Somalia as part of EAC becoming the eighth state to join the community.
In his speech, Somalia President Hassan Mohamud expressed gratitude saying the inclusion is a sign of hope for his people.
“The Somali people are honored to be part of the EAC. This is a beacon of hope for us...hope for a future of opportunities and prosperity for Somalia, through regional integration,” said Mohamud.