Modern Ghana, March 31, 2023
A stakeholder consultation meeting has been convened in Accra, to fashion out a functional competition policy and law for Ghana that aligns with the ECOWAS, AfCFTA Competition framework and international best practices.
The consultative meeting, which is being organized by the British High Commission in Accra and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) in partnership with CoWater International and CUTS International, seeks to discuss the relevance of competition policy and law as a tool for creating a strong and efficient market for private sector businesses.
It also seeks to leverage on existing momentum in ensuring a level playing field for businesses looking to trade and invest in Ghana and create greater market confidence, thereby, increasing opportunities for private sector business.
Competition Policy & Law a Need for Ghana
Ghana has been taking a leading role in the drafting of the ECOWAS regional competition policy, despite the country not having yet finalized its competition reforms. The country has a draft competition policy and bill which predated the enactment of the ECOWAS Competition Policy Framework and the AfCFTA Competition Protocol.
The objective of a functional competition regime is to promote competition and contribute towards increased efficiency and curb anti-competitive practices in the market. With the coming into effect of the AfCFTA Competition Protocol and ECOWAS Competition Law, Ghana cannot afford to be left out from instituting a functional competition regime to guide the conduct of the market.
With country closer to passing these two drafts, it is important that the draft policy and bill receive inputs from private sector through an informed process, incorporating the views of key actors and with public support.
Mr. Appiah Kusi Adomako, the West Africa Regional Director of CUTS International said a market devoid of competition law could be replete with cartels controlling the provision, supply and manufacturing of essential goods and services. In the absence of the Competition Law, what we are seeing is that some businesses are engaged in restrictive trade practices like price fixing, bid rigging and abuse of dominance, and when this happens, consumers suffer in the market.
Mr. Adomako added that Ghanaians are being denied the opportunity to enjoy high quality goods and services at competitive prices due to the absence of a competition law. He added that 70 percent of African countries have competition laws but the closest Ghana had gone to enacting the law was the Protection Against Unfair Competition Act, 2000 (Act 589) which did not address the full dimension of a restrictive trade practices.
Technical Support to the Draft of Ghana’s Competition Policy and Law
The UK Government through the British High Commission in Accra is providing technical expertise and assistance to the Government of Ghana, through the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The project seeks to ensure the establishment of an effective competition policy and law which will ensure a fair playing field for businesses looking to trade and invest in Ghana but were being prevented by structural and behavioural entry barriers. It will also ensure greater confidence in the market, increasing opportunities which would benefit both international and Ghana economies
The stakeholder interaction brought together captains of industries, Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI), regulators, private sector, trade associations, academia, civil society, donor agencies and competition experts etc to discuss the relevance of competition policy and law as a tool for creating an efficient and robust private sector.
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