Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Vellah Kedogo Kigwiru explains The Cooperation on Competition Policy under the African Continental Free Trade Area.
ABSTRACT: The dream of establishing an African common market that would lead to an African Economic Community begun in the 1980s, when the Lagos Plan of Action for the Economic Development of Africa was adopted. The establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which came into force on 30th May 2019 provides the most recent, and perhaps the most critical milestone in the integration process because it provides a foundation upon which an African Customs Union can materialise. It is recognised that for the AfCFTA to meet its general objectives under Article 3 of the AfCFTA Framework Agreement; States Parties need to cooperate on competition policy which is part of the second phase of the negotiations that will culminate into a Protocol on Competition Policy. At the time of writing this paper, the negotiations on the cooperation on competition policy are on the horizon. As such, this paper seeks to inform the design and implementation of the proposed competition policy under the AfCFTA by espousing the benefits, potential and challenges of adopting a continental competition policy framework. More importantly, building upon the literature on competition policy under free trade areas (FTAs), this paper also seeks to answer a pertinent question on the mind of the majority of stakeholders which is: how should a competition policy under the AfCFTA be fashioned?