Over the last one and a half years since its commencement of operations, the COMESA Competition Commission (“the Commission”) has strived to create a functioning, universally respected, supra-national competition authority.

The Commission has during the course of this period engaged various stakeholders in the field of competition policy and law to exchange with them best practices on the formulation of various enforcement instruments for an organization of this stature. The release of the Guidelines dealing with, among others, such issues like merger control, market definition and public interest received a lot of positive feedback from the users of the system. In addition, the willingness of the Commission to engage stakeholders across the globe has attracted applause from the legal fraternity, business community, competition law practitioners etc.  Through these efforts, the Commission is now widely known and widely quoted across the competition world.

Despite the many teething problems still being encountered by the Commission particularly those related to the non domestication of the COMESA Competition Regulations (“the Regulations”) at Member States level, the commencement of operations of the Commissions nearly two years down the line, has been largely a success. The Commission realizes that competition law enforcement is primarily about dealing with cases. As we move forward in our enforcement work, we are cognizant that our success will be measured not only on how best we have engaged stakeholders, but largely through the cases we handle and the manner in which we handle them. It is through investigations of notifications and complaints that our enforcement mandate will be recognized by the stakeholders and indeed it is through decisions of the Board on cases that COMESA will be able to develop its own jurisprudence in competition law.

It is with this realization in mind that the Commission now intends to move further from  merger control which it has successfully managed since commencement of operations, to the activation of the other parts of the Regulations especially Part 3 dealing with anticompetitive business practices. The Commission will, as part of this drive, be unveiling further enforcement instruments such as draft leniency to effectively deal with cartel infringements.

I wish to encourage the stakeholders to continue supporting us as we strive to perfect this new regional competition enforcement regime. I wish also to thank the Commission members of staff for the dedication which has enabled the organization to achieve a lot under often difficult circumstances.