National Training Workshops (NTW)

In Media – The Gambia

NAMs, journalists trained on competition policy, law

Today Newspaper, The Gambia, April 13, 2010

The Pro-Poor Advocacy Group (Pro-PAG) and the Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS International), India over the weekend organized a one day national capacity building training workshop on Competition Policy and Law for National Assembly Members and media practitioners from various print and electronic media houses across the country at the Kairaba Beach Hotel.

The training was part of activities of a project entitled: Strengthening Constituencies for Effective Competition Regimes in Select West African Countries’ (7Up4 Project). The purpose of this project, according to the organizers, is to foster a healthy competition culture through evidence-based research, capacity building and advocacy.

The national training workshop, it was noted, is to afford the beneficiaries to learn best practices from international experts as a means of promoting a healthy competition culture to foster economic development, growth and alleviate poverty.

According to the organizers, journalists are also being trained in a bid to create the enabling environment for collaboration and partnership for development, noting that the media is a key stakeholder in the process of developing a nation through competition.

Speaking to participants after the training, Honorable Alhagi Sillah, National Assembly member for Banjul North described the training was very interactive and educative. He said although it was the National Assembly members who passed the Competition Bill, such forums should be held for them to discuss the bill more with stakeholders and the general public. According to him, there are possible weaknesses in every bill, such fora, he said, would provide opportunities for such weaknesses to be corrected.

On the importance of the Competition Bill, Honorable Sillah said once the bill is adopted, there should be the provision of a level and fair playing ground for every competitor, adding that the most important thing about competition is the benefits to the consumers. “The competition bill is all about what the Gambian people can enjoy from it, because we are all here for the interest of citizens and non citizens of The Gambia. So if the country has a level and fair playing field for competitors, the people will be the one to benefit at the end,” he said.

For Abba Gibba, deputy chief editor at The Point Newspaper, the training will enhance the capacity of journalists in understanding certain matters about competition laws, adding that it will also enhance their capacity in reporting on competition issues. He concluded by expressing sincere thanks on behalf of the media to the Pro-Poor Advocacy Group (pro-PAG) and the Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS International), India for organizing the one day training workshop.

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NAMs, media practitioners trained on competition policy & law

Daily Observer, The Gambia, April 12, 2009

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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