The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) says it has weaknesses in its legislative and institutional framework which are adversely affecting its ability to execute its mandate as a competition authority. However, the Commission is taking steps to address these challenges.
As part of addressing these challenges, Malawi, through CFTC conducted a Voluntary Peer Review on competition law and policy between October 2020 and July 2021. This is a tool used by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to scrutinize and evaluate a country’s competition law and policy.
The Report recommended that the Competition and Fair Trading Act should be amended, Malawi should invest in capacity building for Commissioners and staff of CFTC as well as the judiciary and lawyers. It was also recommended that Competition law should be introduced as a subject of study at universities in Malawi. Lastly there were also recommendations made pertaining to the institutional framework as well as funding for the Commission.
The Malawi Voluntary Peer Review report was presented at the 2021 International Group of Experts (IGE) Meetings held in July 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland by a delegation which was led by the then Minister of Industry and Trade, Honourable Sosten Gwengwe, MP.
After presentation of the report in 2021, between 21st and 25th November, 2022. CFTC and UNCTAD held dissemination workshops and meetings with key stakeholders to raise awareness of the issues highlighted in the report. The stakeholders included United Nations agencies in Malawi, the European Union, GIZ, DFID, the University of Malawi, COMESA Competition Commission and relevant Government Ministries.
Speaking on Monday 21st November, 2022 at Capital Hotel in Lilongwe, the Secretary for Trade and Idustry Christina Zakeyo reported that Malawi accepted the recommendations made and is committeed to implement them. She encouraged the stakeholders to support CFTC in order for it to successfully implement the recommendations.
“The Commission needs substantial support from the various stakeholders, including UNCTAD itself, the key development partners, but also other competition authorities,” said Zakeyo.
CFTC Board Chairman, Dr. Jeffery Jana said the Commission has already begun to implement the recommendations.
“I am happy to mention that the process of reviewing the Competition and Fair Trading Act and the Competition and Fair Trading Regulations (CFTR) is at an advanced stage,” said Jana.