ECOWAS and UEMOA Commissions adopt the Action Plan of the ECOWAS-UEMOA Cooperation Agreement on Competition Enforcement in West Africa.

Within the framework of the development of a synergy of actions for an efficient and coherent implementation of ECOWAS and UEMOA competition policies and in accordance with the instructions of the Presidents of the two Commissions at the 18th ECOWAS – UEMOA inter-institu-tional meeting held on March 08, 2019 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, the ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority and the WAEMU Competition Directorate (DConc) have drawn up and submitted for adoption by the Presidents a cooperation agreement on competition matters.

With a view to implementing the said Cooperation Agreement, ARCC and DConc have drawn up a draft action plan comprising priority actions relating to the harmonization of rules and procedures, capacity building, information and data sharing, and partnership development. This action plan was finalized at a meeting held from May 02 to 04, 2024 in Abidjan, on the premises of the ECOWAS Resident Representation in Côte d’Ivoire, and submitted for review and signature by the Commissioners in charge of the relevant Departments of the two institutions.

The meeting was co-chaired by Madame Massandjé TOURE-LITSE, ECOWAS Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture, and Professor Filiga Michel SAWA-DOGO, UEMOA Commissioner in charge of the Regional Market and Cooperation Department.

At the opening of the meeting, Ambassador Fanta CISSE, ECOWAS Resident Representative in Côte d’Ivoire, on behalf of the President of the ECOWAS Commission, welcomed all participants and expressed her delight at hosting the joint EC-DEAO-UEMOA meeting. She also expressed her satisfaction at the implementation of the ECOWAS-UEMOA Cooperation Agreement on the application of competition rules, which reflects the excellent cooperation between the two institutions. She also expressed the hope that this cooperation would lead to the achievement of the objectives of promoting healthy and fair competition within the West African market. Lastly, she wished her hosts fruitful deliberations, and expressed the readiness of the Resident Representation to ensure the smooth running of the meeting.

Following Madame CISSE, Professor Filiga Michel SAWADOGO recalled the background to the conclusion of the Cooperation Agreement between ECOWAS and UEMOA, and the development of the action plan for its implementation. He also stressed the importance of competition rules in a market economy. After outlining the purpose of the meeting, he congratulated the ECOWAS Commission on the signing of the Agreement, and pledged to work diligently for its signature by the President of the UEMOA Commission as soon as possible, and for its implementation.

Lastly, Professor SAWADOGO stressed the importance of the action plan, which will ensure smooth implementation of the Agreement, and urged the ARCC and DConc to finalize it diligently during these meetings, with a view to its signature.

In her opening address, Madame Massandjé TOURE-LITSE asserted that the sharing of similar objectives in terms of economic, social and political development within the West African integration space justifies the close collaboration between ECOWAS and UEMOA. Ma-dame TOURE-LITSE emphasized that this partnership is rooted in the Treaties of the two regional organizations, and is reaffirmed by the heads of the two institutions, who encourage the technical services to find ways and means of better rationalizing their actions in favor of integration. She went on to express her satisfaction at the convergence in the realization of the missions of the respective institutions, which has led to joint successes in a number of regional integration projects. However, she recognizes that much remains to be done. For this reason, while welcoming the conclusion of the cooperation agreement between the two institutions, she invited the departments concerned to maintain regular channels of dialogue, in particular by increasing the number of bilateral meetings. Emphasizing her interest in the results of the work, she declared open the meeting to finalize and validate the action plan for implementing the ECOWAS-UEMOA cooperation agreement on the application of competition rules.

The meeting resulted in the finalization of the action plan and its formal adoption before a solemn ceremony for its signature by the Commissioners.