Policies for Effective Competition Case Study: Namibia

It is obvious that competition policy is not the only legal framework that states are aiming to enforce. At times, deviation from competition principles may be necessary in order to meet other development goals and objectives, which can be of economic or social nature. One of the realised challenges in Southern Africa is that the development of regulatory frameworks, in most instances, lags behind the fast moving development of an integrated regional economy, and the competition framework is no exception to this phenomenon. Namibia has recently introduced a competition law, which is yet to be operationalised.

This paper seeks to identify contrasts and complementarities between competition policy and other policies. The study identifies the lack of recognition of inter-relationships among various policies as an impediment to effective implementation of the competition policy. To take account of trade-offs that competition laws and authorities have to make, the study undertakes a comprehensive policy and regulatory scan in all major sectors of the economy in order to identify any clauses that have positive and/or negative impacts on competition. While it is a case study for Namibia, few inferences will be made to the Southern African region in order to reflect on the importance of competition policy with respect to regional/international trade, which is the main driver for most developing country economies.

The paper will be of assistance to policy makers in identifying overall policy linkages with respect to competition in the economy. The paper will further seek to create awareness and stimulate participation by businesses, consumers and other structures within the local and international civil society.