South Sudan has formally joined the East African Community during the 17th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State held in Arusha Tanzania.
As the youngest East African country, South Sudan was admitted Wednesday by regional leaders.
Present on the historic occasion was South Sudan vice president, Iga Wani.
It becomes the regional bloc’s 6th member after Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.
The entry of South Sudan also increases the regional market to 162 million people.
According to the treaty establishing the EAC, new members are admitted if they respect the principles of democracy, rule of law, accountability, transparency and social justice.
The treaty also says the countries must, besides being geographically near any of the existing members, practice “equal opportunities, gender equality as well as the recognise, promote and protect rights in accordance with the provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.”
South Sudan applied to join the EAC soon after it gained independence in July 2011.