The ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority (ERCA) organized the fifth Meeting of the Consultative Competition Committee (CCC) from 2 to 4 November 2022, at the Ivotel Hotel in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
The main objective of the Meeting was to examine and validate the draft Memorandum on the ECOWAS Directive on Consumer Protection. The Meeting also considered the presentation by Dr. Simeon KOFFI, Executive Director of ERCA, on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Competition Policy and a report on the market research study on Agriculture and Food, Transport, and Pharmaceutical sectors.
The opening ceremony was marked by statements from Dr. Simeon KOFFI, Executive Director of ERCA, Mrs. Boladale ADEYINKA, Chairperson of CCC, and Mr. Souleymane DIARRASSOUBA, Minister of Trade, Industry and SME Promotion of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire. In his opening statement, the Minister expressed his satisfaction with the actions taken by ERCA to equip itself with all the legal texts that would enable it to be operational and to ensure the monitoring of the fair play of competition in the regional market. He referred to the steps taken at the national level in terms of promoting a competitive and equitable market in accordance with the requirements of the regional and continental provisions under the AfCFTA Agreement. The Minister expressed the readiness of the Government of Cote d’Ivoire and his ministry to support the positive dynamics observed at the regional level, especially in the current global context of inflation which makes the support of consumers’ rights and interests an existential and vital issue.
The 5th Meeting of CCC validated the draft Memorandum on the ECOWAS Directive on Consumer Protection prior to the ECOWAS Trade Ministers’ Meeting which will examine the said draft Directive before its submission to the ECOWAS decision-making bodies for adoption.
In addition, for effective and efficient implementation of all the legal texts adopted since 2021, the 5th meeting of the CCC recommended that adequate measures be taken to strengthen the human resources capacities of ERCA in order to make it more operational.
At the end of the deliberations, Ms. Massandjé TOURE-LITSE, Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture, expressed her satisfaction with the quality of the documents produced and validated by the CCC and assured that she will monitor the implementation of the recommendations of the meeting. She thanked the Ivorian authorities for all the facilities made available to ERCA which enabled the smooth running of the meeting before declaring closed the 5th meeting of the CCC of ERCA.