A three-day Competition and Communication Experts Meeting to validate the draft East African Competition Authority (EACA) Outreach and Advocacy Strategy (2019/20 – 2024/25) concluded yesterday in Nairobi, Kenya.
The 26th to 28th June meeting was attended by Competition and Communication Experts from all the Partner States and staff from the EAC Secretariat. The Republic of Rwanda is the current chair of the EAC hence according to the EAC Rules of Procedures, Mr. Louis Uwimana, from Rwanda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, chaired the meeting while, Mr. Feisal Ibrahim, from the Competition Authority of Kenya was the Rapporteur.
Addressing the Experts during the official opening of the validation meeting, the Chairperson thanked the Republic of Kenya for hosting the meeting and reminded participants that the Sectoral Council of Ministers responsible for Trade, Industry, Finance and Investments (SCTIFI) meeting held in May 2019 in Arusha, Tanzania took note of the progress being made on the status of the development of the EAC Competition Authority outreach and advocacy strategy (2019/20-2024/25).
He also said the 5th Meeting of the ad hoc EAC Competition Authority held in June, 2019 considered the progress on the development of the draft Outreach and Advocacy Strategy and provided guidance on a number of issues including the need to clearly specify the activities which are to be implemented at national level States and those at the regional level.
On her part, Ms. Lillian Mukoronia, the Deputy Registrar of EACA in charge of Mergers and Acquisition, pointed out that competition regulation will not properly grow and prosper if all Partner States are not involved in ensuring competition environment is nurtured. “It is critical that the relevant constituencies include an advocacy component in their programmes. This calls for Partner States and EACA to work together to reach out to the relevant stakeholders”, noted the Deputy Registrar.
She urged the participants to be involved and work as champions for competition and consumer protection enforcement to prevent distortions of markets in the region and evaluate the best channels of reaching out to the stakeholders.
She asserted that there were concerns on the growing number of regional competition frameworks that were currently being created in various parts of the world. “This has been one of the most remarkable developments in international competition policy over the last years. I follow this trend with great interest not only because I represent a regional authority myself but it is rather because I see a regional competition framework as an important facilitator in regional integration and development under the Common market”, affirmed the Deputy Registrar
The meeting validated and finalized the draft EAC Competition Authority Outreach and Advocacy Strategy (2019/20 – 2024/25) and the document will now be submitted to the EACA Commissioners for consideration and approval before presentation to the Sectoral Council of Ministers responsible for Trade, Industry, Finance and Investments (SCTIFI) for approval/or further guidance.