Uganda reaps sh3.8b from COMESA competition body

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Speaking about the bountiful harvest, George Lipimile, the COMESA CC’s executive director noted that Uganda’s slice is part of the larger $27m pie that the commission has reaped from fees since it became operational in 2013.

Protecting consumers and companies from abuse of monopoly power and cartels is not only good for the economy and businesses, it is also profitable

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa’s Competition Commission (COMESA CC) is holding $1m (about sh3.8b) that is due to Uganda as its share of fees paid by international firms for merger and acquisition activity.

Speaking about the bountiful harvest, George Lipimile, the COMESA CC’s executive director noted that Uganda’s slice is part of the larger $27m pie that the commission has reaped from fees since it became operational in 2013.

“In East Africa it is only Uganda without a competition law. Competition authorities are self-financing. Unlike other government agencies, this institution will be able to contribute to the national budget,” Lipimile said at the Ridar Hotel in Mukono.

He was speaking during the closing ceremony at a four-day training of district commercial officers from 100 districts on competition law.

The ceremony was presided over by Amelia Kyambadde, the minister of trade, industry and co-operatives and Patrick Okilangole, the chair of the COMESA Competition Commission Board of Commissioners.

Lipimile offered a three to six months scholarship to a functional competition authority for the best performing district commercial officer that can spot instances of abuse of dominance and cartel behavior and design programmes to improve the health of competition in their jurisdictions.

Kyambadde urged the district commercial officers to make it their business to monitor government projects in their districts and to maintain updated data sheets on the nature and health of businesses in their districts.

“You are very powerful people. You can make the economy or you can undo it. Ensure that standards are followed, monitor tourism sites, work closely with officials in the local government and use every opportunity to sensitise traders about standards and regulations,” she urged the commercial officers, warning them against soliciting bribes from businesses.

Okilangole urged the district commercial officers to form associations to further the gospel of fair competition in their districts so as to nurture a countrywide understanding of fair and unfair business practices. He noted that this will transform the Ugandan economy.

“Competition law is way of creating a level playing field for large and small businesses,” Okilangole said.

NewVision.co.ug

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