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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Regional Competition Authority (ERCA) on a mission in Côte d’Ivoire to disseminate Community Provisions on Competition and Consumer Protection

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A delegation from ECOWAS/ERCA led by Mrs Massandje Toure-Litse, Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture, accompanied by the Executive Director of ARCC, Dr Simeon Konan KOFFI and representatives of the National Competition Commission, held an information and a sensitisation session with national stakeholders about Community provisions on competition and consumer protection, in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, on 29 and 30 April 2024.

While in Côte d’Ivoire, the ECOWAS mission met with senior officials from ministries, government departments and agencies, business organisations, professional organisations, exporters’ organisations, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and consumer organisations. The ECOWAS mission briefed all these stakeholders on ERCA’s mandate, its scope of intervention and its main ongoing activities, and presented the various legal and operational instruments for implementing Community rules on competition and consumer protection.

Commissioner Massandje Toure-Litse and the ECOWAS experts also discussed the framework for collaboration and exchange with the Member States, particularly in relations to market studies and surveys, data collection, management and sharing, as well as capacity-building and support for stakeholders.

For reference, ERCA, in collaboration with the national competition authorities and other national stakeholders, conducts market studies with a view to gaining a better understanding of the sectors concerned, existing and potential customers and their views on operations in these markets, the regulatory environment and competing products and services.

ERCA also has a Competition Information System with a national component for the collection and management of regular, reliable, consistent and sustainable information. The ECOWAS Competition Information System (ECIS) can provide data for monitoring competition at the ECOWAS level, including assessing the consequences of anti-competitive practices on the regional market as well as the economic and social interest of consumers.

In addition, to record and streamline the collection and processing of complaints, referrals to ERCA are facilitated by its Electronic Competition Information System (ECIS) through the complaints management platform, accessible via its website www.erca-arcc.org. A cooperation agreement between ECOWAS/ERCA and each Member State is under preparation.

Finally, in order to rationalise the actions of the ECOWAS and UEMOA Commissions in competition matters and to ensure effective and coherent implementation of Community competition policy within the region, the two Commissions, through their competition authorities, ERCA and the UEMOA Competition Directorate, hold regular consultations and have concluded a Cooperation Agreement.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

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