ERCA to coordinate ECOWAS Member States’ positions on Draft AfCFTA Protocol

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ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority
ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority

The ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority (ERCA) organized a meeting of a Working Group for the review of the Draft AfCFTA Protocol on competition, prior to the fifth meeting of negotiations between African Union States Parties that is scheduled to hold in Accra, Ghana from 30 May to 2nd June 2022 on the said draft. The meeting took place from 19 to 21 May 2022 at Hotel Flamboyants in Saly, Republic of Senegal.

The purpose of the meeting was to bring together a number of ECOWAS Member States (Gambia, Nigeria, Senegal) and ERCA officials for a brainstorming on the draft AfCFTA Protocol on competition in order to ensure that all Member States adopt a common position on all the provisions of the draft AfCFTA Protocol to be shared with Member States’ negotiators and other regional organizations.

During the opening ceremony and in welcoming the participants, the Executive Director of ERCA, Dr Simeon Koffi informed the delegates that the meeting was convened to consider the draft AfCFTA Protocol on Competition Policy and harmonise and coordinate the position of Member states on the Protocol. He further challenged the delegates to thoroughly review the document and tease out issues that concern the region. In her opening remarks, the Chairperson of the ERCA Consultative Competition Committee (CCC), Mrs Boladale Adeyinka welcomed the participants. She commended ERCA for coming up with the initiative that avails members the opportunity to consult and harmonise their positions on the Protocol ahead of the 5th meeting of the AfCFTA Committee on Competition Policy slated from the 30th May 2022 to 02nd June 2022 in Accra. She further urged the participants to actively participate in the review to identify their positions on the Protocol both at national and regional levels. She commended members for their active participation in the 4th Committee meeting held in Accra, Ghana and wished the meeting fruitful deliberations.

After the opening ceremony, the Working Group immediately embarked on the review of the draft Protocol and reached a consensus on a number of items that include among others the clarification of the objectives of the draft Protocol, the jurisdiction of the continental competition authority in the area of competition, the institutional arrangement between the continental, the regional and national competition authorities, the introduction of state aids and state subsidies in the list of anticompetitive practices in the draft Protocol, the introduction of a threshold for mergers and acquisitions, the adoption of a cooperation framework between the 3 levels of competition, the composition of the executive board, the African Competition Network, etc.

After adopting their recommendations, the participants agreed to share the outcome of the meeting with all Member States and other regional economic communities in order to reach a common position on the draft Protocol to be defended during the fifth AfCFTA meeting on competition scheduled to hold from 30 May to 2nd June 2022 in Accra, Ghana.

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