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Empowering Markets: ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority Engages Liberia

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ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority Engages Liberia
ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority Engages Liberia

From May 20th to 22nd, 2024, in Monrovia, Republic of Liberia, the ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority (ERCA) fulfilled its mandate of supporting member states in competition matters through an advocacy and sensitization meeting on Competition and Consumer Protection laws.

Gathering key stakeholders from various sectors including government agencies, the manufacturing association, financial services, private sector, Chamber of Commerce, and Consumer Protection bodies, the event aimed to dissect existing legal and regulatory frameworks on competition in Liberia. The focus was on identifying gaps and collaboratively developing robust Competition and Consumer Protection laws aligned with regional and continental standards.

Dr. Konan Simeon KOFFI, Executive Director of ERCA, welcomed participants on behalf of Madame Massandjé TOURE-LITSE, Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture. He underscored the importance of collaboration between ERCA and national stakeholders to enhance information sharing, capacity building, and enforcement of competition law.

Her Excellency, Madam Josephine KRUMAH, ECOWAS Commission Permanent Representative to Liberia, reiterated ECOWAS’s commitment to economic integration and underscored the significance of promoting and implementing competition and consumer laws. The aim is to facilitate the establishment of a National Competition body in Liberia to enforce competition law and uphold Regional Competition Rules.

In his opening remarks, Deputy Minister of Commerce, WILMOT REEVES, expressed gratitude to ECOWAS for organizing the advocacy and sensitization meeting. He highlighted Liberia’s endeavor to establish a national Competition Authority and enact comprehensive Competition and Consumer Protection laws to foster fair-trade practices and innovation.

Recognizing the evolving global economy, Minister REEVES emphasized the necessity of a well-defined competition policy for Liberia’s economic development. He stressed that effective competition law ensures a level playing field, prevents monopolistic practices, and nurtures opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to flourish.

The meeting delved into presentations and discussions on ECOWAS competition framework, Liberia’s Competition Law overview, and the status of competition and consumer protection monitoring in Liberia. Participants emphasized the importance of collaboration for heightened awareness of competition issues and urged the Liberian government to review existing laws in alignment with regional frameworks.

A recommendation was adopted for ERCA to support Liberia in the law review process and for Liberian authorities to utilize competition laws to bolster the development of SMEs.

Following the meeting, ERCA delegation engaged in bilateral working sessions with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, businesses, National Standards Laboratory, Liberia National Legislature’s House Committee on Commerce, Liberia Banker’s Association, and the Pharmaceutical Board, solidifying commitments to advancing competition and consumer protection in Liberia.

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