Role of Stakeholders in Promoting Competition in Zambia

 

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Introduction

The enactment of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act in 2010 to replace the Competition and Fair Trading Act of 1994 is a landmark in the history and governance of Zambiaís competition and consumer protection regime. Any sound and effective regulatory regime hinges on two things; elaborateness of the legal instrument driven by an inclusive approach and how participatory and inclusive is the enforcement process!

The vanity of the new law hinges on its great attempts of addressing some of the deficiencies of the former. The new law which has embraced both competition and consumer protection, aims at, among other things, reinforcing the objectives of the previous Act, and gives the Commission the much-needed powers to further evolve as an effective market regulator unlike in the previous act.

However, for it to be effectively enforced there is need for all key stakeholders in competition and consumer protection enforcement to complement the Commissionís work by also effectively playing their part. This seems to have been largely wanting in the process of enforcement of the earlier legislation. Knowledge about the role which these players can play in Zambia seems not to have been disseminated as it should have been. The judiciary, legal fraternity, sector regulators, trade unions, civil society, media and parliamentarians are among the stakeholders who need to play a key role in ensuring that the tenets of a competitive culture and consumers protection prevails and sustained.

Therefore, to redefine and highlight the role of stakeholders in the implementation and enforcement of competition laws, CUTS International Lusaka in partnership with FES, held a stakeholders meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, on March 07, 2011. The workshop sought to help promote an inclusive approach to the enforcement of the new law and fostered the creation of a better informed constituency that would participate in policy processes actively and effectively.

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