West African Authorities Acquire Skills on Competition Analysis

Lome, Togo, December 17, 2009

Delegates representing competition and sectoral regulatory authorities from five member states of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) have gathered in Lome (Togo) to acquire knowledge and skills on competition issues over a 3-day training workshop being organised by CUTS International. The workshop is being organised by CUTS in association with ATC, Togo as a part of the 7Up4 project (www.cuts-ccier.org/7up4).

The 7Up4 project is a two-year research based advocacy and capacity building project supported by DFID (UK), IDRC (Canada) and Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Sweden) and implemented by CUTS in four member countries of WAEMU – Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal and Togo. The three other project countries are The Gambia, Ghana and Nigeria.

The project has revealed a huge demand for capacity building on competition issues among the agencies/institutions created to handle competition issues in these countries. The training workshop has been designed combining discourse on theoretical aspects of competition law, with hands-on training for undertaking competition analysis and enforcement. It is anticipated that the event would contribute towards better comprehension on competition issues among the participants.

Over 25 participants from Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal and Togo are participating in this workshop. The first day consisted of sessions on introduction to competition policy and law issues; and competition analysis. Horizontal agreements and vertical restraints were discussed on the second day. Abuse of dominance would be discussed on the final day of the training. The sessions are being conducted by renowned experts and practitioners on competition issues.
Real cases and illustrations cited by the resource persons provided the opportunity for the participants to work in groups to undertake competition assessment, promoting discussions and offering scope for mutual learning. Interesting cases were also brought to the fore by the delegates which have been discussed in the training.

As some of the participants noted, it was a first experience for them to participate in such a training workshop, and they hoped that such events would also be held in the future. CUTS has plans to organise training workshops in each of the seven countries of the 7Up4 project, early next year. A similar training workshop for authorities from the Anglophone project countries is scheduled between 13-15 January 2010 in Abuja, Nigeria.

For more information, please contact:
Rijit Sengupta, +91 98292 85928, rsg@cuts.org