National Training Workshops (NTW)
April 06-09, 2010, The Gambia
Various Stakeholders Trained on Competition Policy and Law Issues During a Three Day National Training Workshop in The Gambia
The Gambia, April 9, 2010
Stakeholders from the media, private sector, civil society, government departments, sector regulators, academia and members of the National Assembly benefited from a three day National Training Workshop (NTW) on competition and law issues organised by CUTS International and the Pro-Poor Advocacy Group (Pro-PAG) at the Kairaba Hotel on the 6th, 7th and 9th April, 2010.
The training programme covered general issues such as introduction to competition policy and law, the benefits from competition policy and law, the interface between competition policy and sector regulation, as well as introducing participants to specific issues on competition enforcement such as horizontal and vertical restraints, abuse of dominance and unfair trade practices.
The training was conducted through the assistance of international resource persons with experience in competition law enforcement. These included Mr Gerald Gregory, an expert from the United Kingdom, who is also a former employee of the Office of Fair Trading; Ms Neo Chabane, Principal Analyst in the Enforcement and Exemptions Department under the Competition Commission of South Africa and Mr Cornelius Dube of CUTS. The Chairman of the newly formed Gambia Competition Commission, Mr Alhaji Tamu Njie gave an overview of the Gambia Competition Act and GCC and also served as a resource person.
The training generated a lot of interest among the participants. About 37 Members of the National Assembly actively participated. Media representatives from the main newspapers and radio stations participating also raised a number of key issues in the Gambia relating to the issues covered which they wanted members of the National Assembly to take note of. Mr Njie of GCC also assisted in clarifying most of the issues from the media regarding the enforcement of competition law in Gambia, which they were not aware of, including the fact that GCC is now operational, having recruited key staff and obtaining offices through the resources given to GCC in the 2009 national budget.
Members of the National Assembly also wanted clarifications on several concepts on competition policy and law. One issue of discussion was on whether companies who fail to compete and are forced out of the market due to competition are taken into consideration in outlining the benefits of competition. Members of the national Assembly also tasked the media to ensure that competition issues are talked about widely by people from their constituencies, especially through introducing radio programmes in local languages on competition issues.
The stakeholders from the workshop all pledged to take part in competition reforms through utilising the knowledge they obtained from the workshop and assisting GCC whenever such assistance is required.