Administering competition policy and law for public welfare in Africa

Pretoria, February 19, 2007

Effective implementation of competition law and regulatory policies are pre-requisites for evolving a level playing field for private sector growth and ensuring public welfare in the present liberal economic order of the developing world, observed Garth le Pere of Institute for Global Dialogue (IGD) while opening a training workshop on competition policy and law implementation, organised jointly by CUTS International, India and IGD, South Africa in Pretoria last week.

The workshop organised under the auspices of a two-year project entitled, “Capacity Building on Competition Policy in Select Countries of Eastern and Southern Africa” (also referred to as the 7Up3 project), supported by the Department for International Development (DFID), UK and Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), Norway was targeted at developing the understanding and skills of officials from young competition authorities and line Ministries of countries from Africa.

Over 30 participants from Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Uganda, South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia participated in this day training workshop held during 15th to 17th February 2007.

The training dealt with both the basic and advanced themes on competition policy and law implementation. Specific areas for training included introduction to competition law, competition analysis, vertical and horizontal restraints, mergers and acquisition, abuse of dominance and regional competition issues.

Case Studies and role-play were extensive used during this training. As part of the practical training, an exposure and study visit was also conducted in the South African Competition Commission (SACC). The trainees were briefed about the activities of the SACC by its CEO, Shan Rumburuth and other officials.

Resource persons included academicians and practitioners from within the region and outside, who shared their experience and expertise with the participants. Participants strongly felt that continuous capacity development through such trainings was imperative for effective implementation of competition regimes in sub-Saharan Africa.

CUTS is planning to organise need-based and issue-specific national training workshops on competition policy and law implementation for multiple stakeholders in the coming months in various countries of eastern and southern Africa, as part of its mission to strengthen constituencies on competition policy and law in the region.