Consultative Competition Committee of ERCA met in Banjul to review the draft Manuals of Manuals of Procedures on the Community Competition Framework.

The ECOWAS Consultative Committee on Competition (CCC) held its 7th meeting to review the Draft Manuals of Procedure and other legislative texts on the Community Competition Framework from the 28th to 30th October 2023, in Banjul, Republic of the Gambia.

The meeting brought together Members of the ERCA Consultative Competition Committee (CCC) and Consultants to review the draft manuals to facilitate the implementation of the operational framework and mandate of ERCA on promoting competition and protecting the rights and interests of consumers within the ECOWAS region.

The Executive Director of ERCA Dr. Konan Simeon KOFFI, on behalf of the President of ECOWAS Commission Dr. Omar Alieu TOURAY and the Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture, Madame Massandjé TOURE-LITSE, thanked the members of the CCC to the 7th Statutory meeting as well as the colleagues from Competition Directorate of the WAEMU Commission. He expressed gratitude and thanks to His Excellency, Mr. Adama BARROW, President and the government of the Republic of The Gambia for the facilities made available to hold the event. He pointed out that as we come to the end of the four-year tenure of the current membership of the CCC, it is important to take stock of the collective actions and effort of all the actors in charge of competition and consumer protection matters in the sub region and the important milestones achieved in strengthening the legislative and institutional framework of ERCA. The Executive Director enjoined members to continue to work in a collaborative manner for the effective application of competition rules and the creation of a competitive environment in West Africa pursuant to the objectives set by the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in 2008.

The Executive Director went on to state that the purpose of the meeting was to, among others, further review and validate the draft Manuals of procedure to strengthen the legislative framework of ERCA as well as analyse the sectors of the regional market, conduct investigations and make recommendations for appropriate decision-making. Delivering the opening remarks on behalf of the honourable Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment, the honourable Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs of The Republic of The Gambia Mr. Seedy KEITA, on behalf of President of the Republic of The Gambia, His Excellency President Adama BARROW welcomed the members of the CCC to Banjul. He expressed gratitude to Member states of ECOWAS for trusting the Gambia in hosting ERCA and thanked the ERCA for organizing such an important meeting. He pointed out that as the host country, the Government of The Gambia remains committed to providing all the necessary support to ensure that the agency conducts its work in a conducive environment. The Minister further pointed out that for many years countries within the region have faced cross-border competition and consumer protection issues without having effective ways of addressing them, thus the coming of ERCA is a game changer and shall transform the way of doing business within the region. He Enjoined ERCA to be independent and impartial in the enforcement of competition and consumer protection and to strictly implement the competition policy across all member states and provide strong protection against all anti-competitive practices and unscrupulous exploitation of consumers across member states within the region.