Friday, November 12, 2021

Integrating Africa by Competition and Market Policy

Integrating Africa by Competition and Market Policy



Eleanor M. Fox

New York University School of Law




Africa has the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The agreement will lower tariffs and facilitate internal market trade on the Continent, and policy makers hope that it will help lift 30 million people out of poverty. A competition protocol is now in the process of negotiation and proposals have been made ranging from a full, detailed, technical competition law as in the West to a scaffolding of regional cooperation. For the competition element of AfCFTA, this article makes a bold suggestion. Africa needs a basic but deep competition protocol, concentrating on the priorities “at the top.” It needs to rid the continent of insidious trade-and-competition restraints at member state borders that prevent African integration, requiring a joinder of trade-and-competition violations. And it needs a voice at the top to take a stand for the Continent, for example against the mega-mergers that hurt Africa. Only with these three elements –clear basic rules, trade/competition restraint prohibitions, and voice at the top, can Africa hope to realize the promise of Africa.

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