Bringing Competition Concerns in West Africa to the attention of the International Community

Geneva, November 12, 2010

CUTS released a publication entitled Competitive Markets for Achieving Growth and Development in West Africa, on the sidelines of the 6th UN Review Conference on Competition Policy, being organised here in Geneva by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). “CUTS model of advocating for healthy competition reforms in developing countries has been recognised internationally as an effective approach to develop ownership among national stakeholders”, said James Zhan, Director, Investment and Enterprises Division of UNCTAD, while releasing this publication on behalf of Secretary General Supachai Panitchpakdi. This booklet highlights the findings of a two-year project that CUTS has implemented in seven countries of West Africa. Zhan added that the CUTS project in West Africa adds to the considerable knowledge on the subject generated by CUTS over the years across Asia and Africa.

This was the first time that CUTS published a bilingual book. The 7Up4 project implemented in seven countries of West Africa included four French speaking countries: Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal and Togo apart from three English speaking countries: Ghana, Nigeria and The Gambia. The booklet brings out key lessons on competition law and policy in these countries, and points to an emerging consensus among national stakeholders that it is necessary to evolve competitive markets to achieve development and protect interest of consumers.

Amadou Dieng, Director of Competition representing the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) stated that the CUTS project has helped stakeholders and decision makers in WAEMU member countries realise the gaps in implementation of a robust competition regime that is an imperative for efficient functioning of markets and economic development in the region.

Philippe Brusick, former head of the Competition and Consumer Policy Branch of UNCTAD and the adviser to the project urged that CUTS and UNCTAD should collaborate in the future to undertake similar capacity building initiatives in other regions, to promote a healthy competition culture globally.

Zhan also commended the excellent work done together with UNCTAD by CUTS ‘from Singapore to Cancun’ referring to the first Ministerial meeting of the WTO in 1996 where work on investment was initiated in the WTO, and the fourth Ministerial meeting in 2003 where the issue was suspended from the negotiating agenda of the ongoing Doha round of trade talks. Pradeep Mehta, Secretary General of CUTS added that CUTS will continue to collaborate with UNCTAD on competition and investment issues as it has done earlier.

For more details of the project visit:

This booklet can be downloaded at: (French version) and (English version)