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ECOWAS and WAEMU ratify seminal action plan across west Africa

Group Picture
Group Picture

In a concerted effort to bolster synergies and ensure a seamless and effective implementation of competition policies, the commissions acted upon the mandates issued by the leaders of both Commissions during the pivotal 18th ECOWAS-WAEMU interinstitutional meeting held on 8 March 2019, in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. It was within this framework that the ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority and the WAEMU Competition Directorate devised a comprehensive cooperation protocol, subsequently submitted for formal ratification.

This foundational agreement was complemented by a meticulously crafted action plan, which addressed key areas such as the harmonization of legislation and procedural frameworks, enhancement of institutional capacities, and fostering of information exchange and strategic partnerships. The action plan was refined with precision during intensive sessions from 2 to 4 May 2024 at the ECOWAS Residential Representation in Abidjan, and thereafter advanced for evaluation and endorsement by the Commissioners of the relevant departments.

The proceedings were co-chaired with distinction by Mrs Massandjé Toure-Litse, ECOWAS Commissioner for Economic and Agricultural Affairs, and Filiga Michel Sawadogo, WAEMU Commissioner responsible for the Department of Regional Market and Cooperation.

Opening the session, Ambassador Fanta Cisse, ECOWAS Residential Representative in Côte d’Ivoire, extended a warm welcome on behalf of the President of the ECOWAS Commission. She highlighted the cooperation agreement as a cornerstone for deepening the ties between the institutions, expressing a fervent hope that this initiative would cultivate a balanced and dynamic competitive market in West Africa. She conveyed her best wishes for the fruitful outcomes of the discussions, pledging comprehensive support to ensure the success of the deliberations.

Professor Filiga Michel Sawadogo emphasized the critical role of robust competition laws in stimulating market economies and assured swift action by WAEMU towards the agreement’s ratification and its effective implementation.

Mrs Massandjé Toure-Litse celebrated the extraordinary collaboration between ECOWAS and WAEMU, rooted deeply in the foundational treaties of both organizations. She highlighted the imperative for persistent dialogue and ongoing cooperation, formally inaugurating the session dedicated to the validation and completion of the action plan.

The deliberations reached a crescendo with the formal adoption of the plan, culminating in a ceremonial signing by the Commissioners, thus affirming the mutual commitment to advance a vigorous and equitable competition policy across the region.

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