Gambia celebrates World Consumer Rights Day

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Gambia on Wednesday joined the rest of the world to celebrate World Consumer Rights Day.

The celebration took the form of a march-past from Serrekunda Market to the Youth Monument at Westfield.

The celebration was organized by the Gambia Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (GCCPC) in collaboration with PURA.

PURA is a statutory body established in 2009 to enforce the Competition Act of 2007 to administer the Consumer Protection Act 2014, and to jointly administer and severally enforce the essential commodities Act 2015.

The GCCPC has its primary objective to promote and maintain competition in The Gambia by curbing anti-competitive practices to protect consumers from unfair and misleading market practices, and to jointly regulate the importation, distribution and retailing of essential commodities in The Gambia.

This year’s celebration was on the theme: “Consumer Rights in the Digital Age” and the celebration centered on creating awareness and advocating on consumer online protection, Consumer Data Safety and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities.

Delivering a statement at the event, Demba Ali Jawo, Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure, said World Consumer Rights Day is celebrated worldwide and it has come as a tradition all over the world.

“This is celebrated in over ninety countries based on diversity with other consumer organizations, government agencies and other international organizations to highlight the challenges faced by consumers.”

Minister Jawo noted that the various consumer organizations in the country together with the Gambia Competition Protection Commission, the Gambia Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) and Telecoms operators together with Consumer International has decided to come together to celebrate the day.

He added that Consumer International with a membership of over 240 organizations in 120 countries has the primary objective of fighting for fair, safe and sustainable future for world consumers in a global market increasing dominated by international cooperation.

The government of The Gambia has the consumer protection Act 2014, in which the consumer’s rights were recognised, the right for satisfaction of basic needs which include access to basic essential goods and services, adequate food, shelter, healthcare, education and public utilities such as water and sanitation.

The right to safety which means to be protected against production, process and services, and the right to be informed, which means consumers should be given the facts needed to make informed choices, and be protected against dishonest or misleading advertising and labeling which could avoid some of the problems facing consumers delay.

The right to choose, which means that consumers should be able to select from a range of products and services over competitive prices, with an assurance of satisfactory quality.

Author: Fatou Cham