Interfacing the 'Local' with the 'Global': A Developing Country Perspective on 'Global Competition'
Global Competition Law Conference, October 28, 2011, Chicago-Kent College of Law
28 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2013
This contribution was prepared for the “Global Competition Law Conference” held in Chicago-Kent College of Law in October 2011. It retraces the recent developments in competition law in Sub-Saharan Africa with a focus on the situation in West Africa. The legal, political, cultural and institutional dimensions which have influenced the development and effectiveness of competition law in the region are discussed. From an international perspective, the contribution retraces the African countries´ role, if any, in the debate pertaining a multilateral framework on competition law. The paper shares David Gerber´s view that “Africa has generally played at best a marginal role in global competition law development until very recently, but several factors suggest that that role may increase”. Amongst these factors are the potential derived from regionalizing competition policies in Sub-Saharan Africa and the increase cooperation and technical assistance in competition law enforcement as evidenced the recently created African Competition Forum (ACF).
The proposals put forward in “Global Competition” by David Gerber are also discussed from the perspective of Sub-Saharan African countries. In particular, it is argued in this contribution that the “Commitment pathway” proposed by David Gerber is a beneficial approach for developing countries since it would help them fight cross border anticompetitive practices through a multilateral agreement. Moreover, the proposal respects the “diversity” of approaches in competition law and the need of developing countries to conceptualize their own competition law models. The phasing out of the norms on the multilateral level would give also developing countries “time” to learn and to contextualize their competition policies. The pertinence of a multilateral approach is also discussed in light of the recent developments, in particular the shift towards bilateral approaches in dealing with competition matters.
Keywords: Competition law, Competition Policy, Sub-Saharan Africa, Global Competition, Developing Countries
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