Daily Observer, The Gambia, April 12, 2010

The Pro-Poor Advocacy Group (Pro-PAG) in collaboration with the Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS international), last Friday convened a days training session for members of the National Assembly and media practitioners on competition policy and law.

The training was held at the conference hall of Kairaba Beach Hotel in Kololi with the theme:Strengthening constituencies for effective competition regimes in select West African countries. The training was part of the 7up4 project. The 7up4 project seeks to foster a healthy competition culture through evidence-based research, capacity building and advocacy. At the end of the training, officials hoped that it would offer participants the opportunity to adopt best practices as means of promoting healthy competition in society to cultivate sustainable economic growth towards poverty alleviation.

In his official opening statement, Abdoulie Bojang, the deputy speaker of the National Assembly, pointed out that the training would give dividend and strengthen the understanding of the participants on the competition policy and law. Deputy speaker Bojang emphasised the need for closer collaboration between stakeholders for the local business sectors to clearly understand the contents of the policy.

Alhaji Tamu Njie, chairman of the Gambia Competition Commission, described the involvement of the National Assembly members and media practitioners in the training as a step in the right direction. The Competition Act, he said is in place to protect the integrity of the country before the international arena. Njie told the gathering that the objective of the commission is not to destroy competition in the country but to promote it. While calling on participants to take up proactive roles in promoting and advocating the Competition Act in the country, he equally reiterated the need for unity in the interest of development.

Presenting a topic on the introduction to competition policy and law, Cornelius Dube, a resource person from CUTS international, said competition is a process of rivalry between firms striving to gain sales and make profit. The competition policy, Dube told the gathering is government’s commitment to promote competition in all sectors which could result in refinement of other policies.

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