Comesa regrets the slowness in the ratification of the AfCFTA protocol

COMESA Competition Commission Director and CEO Willard Mwemba has expressed concern over the delay in the ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Competition Policy Protocol.

Only nine countries have reportedly ratified the protocol.

Mwemba urged Member States attending a meeting on the AfCFTA Protocol on Competition Policy and Research in Harare to expedite the process.

“The African Continental Free Trade Agreement was adopted in 2019 and countries have been trading under its terms ever since. We have made significant progress in the negotiations and reached conclusions in various areas,” Mwemba said.

“The AfCFTA also provides for cooperation on competition issues under Article 4, which stipulates that Member States shall cooperate on competition issues and neutralize anti-competitive conduct in trade.”

In recent years there has been a push to ratify the AfCFTA Protocol on Competition Policy, both locally and on the continent.

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“Furthermore, to put the protocol into action, there is a need to develop regulations that enforce some of its provisions, including those on abuse of dominant position, abuse of economic dependence, mergers and concurrent jurisdiction,” Mwemba said.

He also mentioned that the implementation of the protocol would improve competitiveness within Africa and in the global market.

“The AfCFTA agreement also seeks to create a liberalized market for goods and services, thereby enhancing the competitiveness of Member States’ economies both within Africa and in the global market,” he said.

“This is expected to encourage industrial development through diversification, regional value chain development, agricultural growth and food security.”

On the same platform, Comesa Competition Commission chief economist Isaac Tausha said consumers in the region were paying high prices despite low global prices.

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