ECOWAS commits to common stance on AfCFTA position, policy protocol

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has expressed commitment to a common regional position on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on competition policy among member states.

The ECOWAS Commission, ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority (ERCA) organised the first virtual regional meeting on the AfCFTA draft protocol on the competition policy with ECOWAS member states on Friday, May 27, 2022, to adopt common positions, consistent with regional and national competition framework in West Africa.

A statement issued by the APO Group and made available to The Trumpet on behalf of ECOWAS revealed that opening remarks were made by Executive Director of ERCA, Dr Simeon Koffi, Acting Director of Trade, ECOWAS Commission, Kolawole Sofola and an official of Ghana’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, Michael Opoku, who chaired the meeting.

As part of the second phase of negotiations on the AfCFTA, a draft protocol on competition policy was proposed by the AfCFA Secretariat. The meeting considered offers from ERCA and four competitions with experts from the ECOWAS Region and members of ERCA’s consultative competition committee.

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Following deliberations at the meeting, they adopted the amendments, which will form the basis for regional position on key provisions of the draft protocol to be presented at the upcoming fifth meeting of the committee on the competition policy, which will end on June 7, 2022. in Accra, Ghana.

The protocol on the competition policy, being an integral part of the agreement of the AfCFTA, would contribute to the attainment of AfCFTA’s objectives, leading to industrial and agricultural development and enhanced competitiveness.

After a meeting in April 2021, it was agreed that addressing the divergent positions of the parties required prior coordination of positions within the regional entities, such as the Regional Economic Communities (RECs).

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