The ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority (ERCA/ARCC) will actively participate in the fifth meeting of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Committee on Competition Policy, which is taking place from 30th May to 2nd June 2022, at Alisa Hotel, Accra, Ghana.
The aim of this meeting is to continue with negotiations between the African Union States Parties on the draft AfCFTA Protocol on Competition. Negotiations commenced in the last quarter of 2021 and will continue till August/September 2022, the deadline set by the African Union Council of Ministers for the negotiators.
Led by Dr Simeon Koffi, Executive Director alongside Dr Yaouza OURO-SAMA, Head of Division, Legal, Investigation, Compliance and Enforcement, the ERCA delegation made some proposals to the meeting regarding the scope of application of the draft Protocol, the supranational status, institutional anchoring, competence criteria, mandate, responsibility and powers of the continental competition authority, and mechanisms for appealing decisions of this authority.
Ahead of the fifth meeting, ERCA convened a working group from the 19th to the 21st of May in Saly, Senegal, that comprised three Member States and the ERCA team with a view to harmonise the positions of ECOWAS Member States on each provision of the draft Protocol.
The working group’s deliberations commenced on the 23rd of May and centred on harmonising the positions of ERCA, the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC), West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the Economic Community of Central Africa States (ECCAS).
ERCA subsequently convened a virtual meeting on 27 May 2022 in collaboration with the Trade Directorate of the ECOWAS Commission’s Department of Trade, Customs and Free Movement of Persons.
The purpose of the meeting was to enable Member States to adopt common positions on the draft Protocol, in line with the existing national and regional frameworks in West Africa. The fifth meeting of the committee is ongoing, and the outcome will be made available at the sixth meeting scheduled for July 2022.