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Consumer protection

Mar 17, 2010, 11:50 AM

Consumer rights movements across the globe on Monday March 15th 2010 marked the World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD).

This year's theme is 'Our money, our rights', and the campaign for better access to reliable and fair financial services for low-income households and small enterprises in The Gambia.

The WCRD aims to highlight the current challenges and issues concerning financial services, inform and educate the public about the situation, and also increase public awareness about financial products and services.

We challenge the Consumer Protection Association of The Gambia (CPAG) and their partners to create the much-needed public awareness on consumer issues relating to financial services.

To us, this year's theme is very timely and relevant as it comes on the heels of the national campaign on the current negotiations, on the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) in their present form, between African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the European Union.

This comes amid a heated debate on the issue, which continues to be high on the agenda in many parts of the continent.

While many analysts believe that going in for the agreement would do more harm than good to the African continent, others are of the view that this is one of the only ways for the continent to move ahead. 

As we celebrate the day, we must not loose sight of the plight of poor consumers in the country. The price of basic commodities such as rice, sugar among others, should be a concern for consumer protection.

People need consumer advice from those who know the rights of consumers.

This can be provided to the public or to individual members.

In relation to the global financial crisis: Consumer organisations all over the world are encouraged to bring reliable financial services to consumers.

Some commentators blamed the global financial crisis squarely at the feet of consumers, citing imprudence and irresponsible borrowing or ignorance.

We firmly believe that people must be given the value of their money in terms of goods and services. Our producers must deliver good quality products to the consumers.

We encourage the Consumer Protection Association of The Gambia to continue sensitising people on their consumer rights.

"Competition is not only the basis of protection to the consumer, but is the incentive to progress."

Herbert Hoover