Africa: Harmonising competition policy under the AfCFTA

This article examines the process of harmonisation of competition law and policy in Africa in the context of economic integration under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). The article undertakes a comparative examination of the various stages of development of domestic competition laws and authorities across Africa. It identifies the challenge of the different and overlapping membership of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), as well as the diversity among the regional competition policy frameworks that have developed on the African continent. The article concludes by discussing the various options and recommendations for harmonising competition policy and integrating competition law in the context of the AfCFTA under African Union law.

I. Introduction 1. The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) holds the potential to boost intra-African trade by 52.3% through eliminating import duties—and if non-tariff barriers are also reduced, it will double the projected amount. [1] Deeper integration under the African Union (AU), through reducing both tariff and non-tariff barriers, will allow firms to transcend national borders and can serve as the foundation for developing regional value chains. However, cross-border trade also provides an opportunity for cross border anti-competitive business practices in Africa to emerge. If competition rules lag behind economic liberalisation process, the benefits of integration can be undermined through the foreclosure of markets by private companies. Market forces, when left

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  • University of Sussex (Brighton)
  • Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) (Lusaka)


Kamala Dawar, George Lipimile, Africa: Harmonising competition policy under the AfCFTA , May 2020, Concurrences N° 2-2020, Art. N° 93472, pp. 242-250

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