The synthesis report of the project entitiles, ‘Road ahead for the EAC Regional Competition regime’ was released on 12th December 2015 in Nairobi on the sidelines of an international conference of CUTS attended by over 100 scholars and practitioners on the subject.
Speaking at the release, Executive Director of the Fair Competition Commission (FCC) Frederic Ringo highlighted the need for a regional market regulator to achieve the ultimate objective of ‘fair markets’ in the EAC region, which rests at the heart of the regional integration process. Dennis Kabbale, representing the EAC Secretariat assured that preparations are underway for having the EAC Competition Authority in place in 2016. Gloria Atuhirwe from TradeMarkEastAfrica (TMEA), who supported this project of CUTS indicated that the issue remains high-priority on the agenda of TMEA and the work on the subject will continue in partnership with organisations like CUTS.
The report highlights the fact that over the years, there is growing interest among both state and non-state actors in the EAC Member States on ‘competition issues’. This has also led to the recognition at the regional level (East African Community, EAC) for operationalising the EAC Regional Competition regime that has been lying in the cold for a long time. In response to the growing understanding on the subject and pressure from the ground, in June 2013 the EAC Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (SCTIFI) recommended the establishment of the EAC Competition Authority in 2015. The process is at an advanced stage with this regional market regulator likely to be established in the first half of 2016.