UNCTAD supports competition development mechanisms for business sector in Zimbabwe

CAFUNCTAD is the principal organ of the UN General Assembly dealing with trade, investment and development issues. (Image source: World Bank/Flickr)The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has developed a toolkit to examine draft laws and regulations, which might have implications on competition law and policy or identifying economic issues in Zimbabwe

According to Bruno Van Eeckhout, spokesperson for the Trade and Private Sector Development Programme, the tool kit will be used by the Competition and Tariff Commission (CTC) and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MoIC) of Zimbabwe.

The Trade and Private Sector Development Programme is funded by the EU and implemented by the International Trade Center (ITC).

UNCTAD, which is governed by its 194 member States, is the UN body responsible for dealing with development issues, particularly international trade – the main driver of development.

The spokesperson noted that UNCTAD also organised a training course on competition law and economics, which was held from 2-6 February 2015. “The course aimed at training potential future lecturers in the field and is part of the activity on introducing a competition law and economics course in the curriculum of the University of Zimbabwe,” he revealed.

Participants included 25 students and lecturers from the University of Zimbabwe, as well as four economists from the CTC and the MoIC, added Eeckhout.

Takaruza Munyanyiwa, pro vice-chancellor at University of Zimbabwe, said, “The importance of the inclusion of competition law and economics course into the curriculum of the University of Zimbabwe in creating a new culture and developing human resources in this field.”

UNCTAD has also organised two training workshops on competition law enforcement for the staff and commissioners of the CTC of Zimbabwe from 9-13 February 2015, added Munyanyiwa.

The workshops aimed at reinforcing enforcement capacities of CTC staff and commissioners. In the workshops, UNCTAD engaged experts with competition enforcement background from national competition authorities of Kenya, South Africa, the UK, Zambia and COMESA Competition Commission to present different areas of competition law enforcement based on their experiences.

“This facilitated the exchange of knowledge and experience between practitioners in competition law enforcement from different jurisdictions. Such exchange may eventually nurture efforts towards harmonisation of competition law and enforcement practice at the regional level in Africa. It is also worth noting that UNCTAD benefited from DFID's Inspiring Future Scientific Exploration (IFUSE) programme in these workshops, which funded the participation of a case officer from Competition and Markets Authority of the UK. The Competition Authority of Kenya also funded the participation of one of its board members as a resource person in the training workshops,” the spokesperson said.

Wallace Mawire

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