Lack of information as major challenge of COMESA integration

The Kenyan capital hosted from 9 to 10 September the 6th Regional Sensitization Workshop for Business Reporters on Competition Law and Trade Development within the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

Journalists attending the training organized by COMESA Competitive Commission in Nairobi

“The purpose of the competitive law is enhancing the welfare of the general community by reducing products price, providing better products and increasing choices of consumers,” said Georges Lipimile, the Chief Executive Officer of COMESA Competition Commission.

“The effective enforcement of the regional competition law and policy is not a matter restricted to the COMESA Competition Commission alone, but a responsibility of all other key stakeholders,” said the Chairperson of the Board of Commissioners of the COMESA Competition Commission.

He said journalists play a fundamental role in the dissemination, education and creation of the necessary bridges between the Commission on one hand, and the consumer, businesses and national governments on the other hand.

He urged journalists to publish more articles about the regional integration agenda, integration developments at regional and continental levels as well as matters of competition policy and consumer protection. The major challenge of COMESA integration is the lack of information, he said.

He added that COMESA member states face some constraints trying to enforce competitive rules in their national markets. He namely cited protectionist policies embodied in national economic policies, poor market practices and regulations that hinder competition as well as rules imposed by COMESA member states that prohibit competitive access to essential business services.

Journalists who attended the workshop committed themselves to increasing the awareness of the population about COMESA competition rules implemented in 2004 by publishing many articles about it. Some articles will be published in local Media while others may be published in Integration News Africa, a website created for that purpose.