The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) on Monday urged member states to enact national competition laws in order to promote consumer interests.
George Lipimile, chief executive officer of the COMESA Competition Commission, told a regional forum in Nairobi that so far 17 out of the 21 member states have put in place legislation to enhance competition in the market place.
“We are urging Uganda, Eritrea, Libya and Somalia to also enact competition laws in order to address legitimate social objectives such as increasing employment, poverty eradication, and inclusive growth,” Lipimile said during the COMESA Competition Commission media workshop.
Lipimile said that the purpose of competition law is to protect and promote the competitive process, so as to boost economic efficiency, thereby generating lower prices, better products and increased consumer choice which enhances the welfare of the general community in the long run.
“To achieve the goal of enhanced consumer protection, the competition law must be enforced effectively at both national and regional level,” he added.
He noted that competition law is not concerned with protecting particular competitors in the market.
According to the regional bloc, most African countries have come to recognize the economic benefits of safeguarding or increasing market competition, as evidenced by the growing economic liberalization reforms that is taking place in the region.