ECOWAS Regional Competition Policy Framework
The ECOWAS Regional Competition Rules were adopted in 2008 by the Summit of Heads of State and Government. The Competition Rules designed to ‘…promote, maintain and encourage competition and enhance economic efficiency in production, trade and commerce at the regional level’ comes after the adoption in 2007, of the ECOWAS Regional Competition Policy Framework.
The ECOWAS Regional Policy was developed alongside two Supplementary Acts which adopted:
- Supplementary Act A/SA.1/12/08 Adopting Community Rules and the Modalities of their Application within ECOWAS; and
- Supplementary Act A/A.2/12/08 On the Establishment, Functions and Operation of the ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority (ERCA)
The development of the text was as a result of recommendations by a Ministerial Monitoring Committee requesting for the harmonization of policies into a Community regulatory framework on Competition.
The objective of the Regional Competition Policy Framework document is to clarify the fundamental elements and the forms of the policy in relation to the regional integration agenda as well as its implementation modalities.
The policy features five segments:
- Competition Law and basic principles (competition law and its benefits)
- Making the case for regional competition policy for ECOWAS (highlights how it can help in consolidating the common market)
- Overview of the state of competition law within ECOWAS (convergence between rules UEMOA and ECOWAS rules)
- Highlights of a competition regulation within ECOWAS (institutional framework, current status of competition among others)
- Conditions for implementation (modalities for effective implementation)
ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority (ERCA)
On May 31, 2019 ERCA was launched as an ECOWAS agency in Banjul, The Gambia. The main objective for the establishment of ERCA is to implement the Regional Competition Rules adopted in 2008.
Experts from National structures in charge of trade and competition from ECOWAS Member States met in a Technical Committee with a view to the effective operationalization of the Regional Competition Authority. For this purpose, the Consultative Committee on Competition (CCC) is the Technical Body created to help direct the affairs of the Authority.