Working Meeting Between ERCA and the WAEMU Commission on the Concerted Implementation of Competition rules within the Region on 30 April 2022 in West Coast-Gambia

Bijilo, The Gambia, April 30, 2022: The curtains are closed this Saturday, April 30, 2022, on the working meeting between the ERCA and the WAEMU Commission on the concerted implementation of competition rules within the region which was held from April 25 to 30, 2022 at the Coco Ocean Hotel in Bijilo, Republic of The Gambia.

The objectives of the meeting were not only to pursue and finalize the draft cooperation agreement between the ERCA and the UEMOA Commission on the modalities of competition enforcement within the region but also to share best practices in competition and to identify the difficulties related to a good regulation of the regional market.

Taking the floor first, Mr. Ado Olivier Paterne ANGAMAN, Director of Competition of the UEMOA Commission, after having conveyed to the ERCA the cordial greetings of the Commissioner of the Regional Market and Cooperation of UEMOA, expressed his pleasure to be in The Gambia to work with the ERCA within the framework of the collaboration between the two Institutions. Referring to the progress made since 2021, Mr. ANGAMAN called for the establishment of strong institutions before wishing that the draft cooperation agreement between the two institutions could be finalized for implementation.

Dr. Simeon KOFFI, Executive Director of ERCA, after welcoming the delegation of the UEMOA Commission, stressed the importance of competition which remains a major component in trade within ECOWAS. He then reiterated the wish of the ERCA to reach an agreement at the end of the work, the results of which are expected to be endorsed by both institutions. He concluded his remarks by thanking the UEMOA delegation and assuring them of ERCA’s commitment to pursue the results, before declaring the meeting open.
Participants immediately began negotiations on the draft cooperation agreement on competition enforcement between the ERCA and the WAEMU Commission.

Three (3) presentations followed. The first presentation was made by the Director of Competition of the UEMOA Commission, Mr. Ado Olivier Paterne ANGAMAN on the missions and organization, the 2021-2022 activities, and the constraints and suggestions of the UEMOA Commission. The second presentation was made by Dr. Simeon Koffi, Executive Director of the ERCA on the ECOWAS regional competition framework, while the last one was made by Dr. Yaouza OURO-SAMA, PPO Legal, Investigation, Compliance and Enforcement at the ERCA on the legal instruments for the operationalization of the ERCA.

Following these exchanges, the participants discussed the three (3) presentations before continuing and finalizing negotiations on the draft cooperation agreement. They then exchanged on the sharing of good practices, on the procedures of collection of information and investigations implemented in the field of competition by each of the structures, as well as on the difficulties related to a good regulation of the market of goods and services in the community space.

Thereafter and on the sidelines of the meeting, participants exchanged by video conference with the meeting of the legal services of the Joint Technical Secretariat UEMOA/ECOWAS held in Dakar, Senegal on the same period on the draft Agreement between the ERCA and UEMOA for its finalization.

During the closing ceremony, the Director of Competition of the WAEMU Commission welcomed the significant progress made during the meeting, particularly on the draft cooperation agreement, while stressing the existence of a number of challenges. He hoped that there would be awareness programs on the ground for effective implementation.

In closing the working meeting between ERCA and the WAEMU Commission, the Executive Director of ERCA expressed his satisfaction with the significant progress that will be shared with the Heads of the institution and the various departments. He thanked the delegation of the UEMOA Commission and wished them a safe journey home before declaring the working meeting closed.