Ecowas launches Regional Competition Authority

Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Tuesday launched its Regional Competition Authority and also started its maiden technical committee meeting of national experts from the trade and competition agencies that will spearhead the implementation of the Regional Competition Policy.

The ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority (ERCA) has a core mandate of keeping under review commercial activities in the community market with a view to ascertaining practices which may distort the efficient operations of the market conduct or which may adversely affect the economic interest of consumers.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Ebrima Drammeh, deputy permanent secretary, Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration, recalled that the supplementary protocol establishing the ECRA defined it as a specialised, autonomous and quasi-judicial body mandated to implement the Regional Competition Rules, thus contributing towards the promotion of economic growth and competitiveness in the ECOWAS common market.

He further stated that the convergence of experts from member states to Banjul to pave the way for full operations of the authority as very important and timely, stating that it will consider the draft strategic action plan for the ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority.

Commissioner for Trade, Customs and Free Movement of the ECOWAS Commission, Konzi Tei, said that the meeting that will take place in these few days shall be focused on adopting decisions that would promote compliance with the Regional Competition Rules adopted in 2008 by the ECOWAS Authority.

“Those decisions would also facilitate the efficient and effective operationalisation of the ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority, which was also established in the same year by the heads of state as the implementing agency that would promote adherence to the ECOWAS Competition Law in our region,” he declared.

He outlined that the policy underscores the need to complement existing markets integration strategies with a strong initiative that would improve competitiveness within the ECOWAS Common market.

Furthermore he revealed that the competition policy and law seeks to prohibit anti competitive and monopolisation practices amongst companies in the region.

“The policy also prohibits agreements and concerted practices in restraint of trade as well state induced competition distortions in order to provide greater opportunities and space for more enterprises to operate leading to overall economic growth and improved innovative potential amongst these enterprises,” he added.

Author: Fatou B. Cham