Competition Experts met in Dakar to review the draft ECOWAS Directive on Consumer Protection

The ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority (ERCA) convened a technical working-group meeting to review the Draft ECOWAS Directive on Consumer Protection from the 26th of February to the 03rd of March 2023, in Dakar, Republic of Senegal.

The meeting brought together six (6) technical experts from the ERCA Consultative Competition Committee (CCC) and ERCA staff to review the draft Directive on Consumer Protection before submission for further review by the CCC and subsequently to the meeting of   ECOWAS Ministers of Trade and Industry for validation.

The Executive Director of ERCA, Dr. Simeon KOFFI welcomed the working group members to Dakar and thanked them for attending the meeting.  He stated that the purpose of the meeting was to review the draft ECOWA Directive on Consumer Protection which was earlier submitted to the Ministers in charge of Trade and Industry at their meeting in Abidjan in November 2022 but not validated due to some concerns raised by the restrictive nature of the texts of the document. They, therefore, requested specific amendments before re-submission for consideration.

The Executive Director enjoined the working group members to review the draft directive taking into consideration the feedback, orientation, and instructions received from the Ministers of Trade and Industry.

The Chairperson of the CCC Ms. Boladale Adeyinka also welcomed working group members and thanked ERCA for organizing the meeting. She noted the concerns of the Ministers of Trade and Industry in relation to the draft directive which was more to do with the language and drafting style rather than the content.

She pointed out that the Draft directive should not dictate what Member States should do but rather state the goals and objectives to be achieved and the Member States should be at liberty to determine the mechanisms and structures to put in place to achieve such goals and objectives. She encouraged CCC members to consistently brief their Ministers of Trade and Industry or trade experts on such documents to obtain their views and reflect them during the review sessions.

Over five (5) days, the experts examined the draft Directive and Memorandum and provided feedback to be taken into consideration in its finalization. The feedback will be consolidated and incorporated by the CCC and an updated draft will be presented to the ECOWAS Ministers in charge of Trade and Industry (ECOMOTI) for their approval, prior to submission to the relevant statutory organ of ECOWAS for its adoption.