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CTC conducts studies to shape government policy on fertiliser, edible oils

During the workshop, Ruparanganda said the findings would arm individual competition authorities with sufficient information to foster competition among African countries.

COMPETITION and Tariff Commission (CTC) director Ellen Ruparanganda says studies on the fertilizer and edible oils sectors could influence government policies to produce data-driven solutions.

The CTC revealed this at a workshop for the African market observatory study and discussion on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) protocol on competition policy last week in Harare.

During the workshop, Ruparanganda said the findings would arm individual competition authorities with sufficient information to foster competition among African countries.

This comes at a time when Zimbabwe and other southern African countries are experiencing the impacts of the El Nino-induced drought and sharp grain price increase.

“Findings from these studies are expected to be an eye-opener for all of us and will probably trigger in-country and/or regional investigations based on exchanges of experiences,” she said.

“Concurrently, findings will arm individual competition authorities with sufficient information to engage and influence our governments for implementable data-driven solutions.

“Study findings which will be disseminated in the fertilizer and edible oils markets come at a crucial time when southern Africa is facing one of its worst El Nino-induced droughts in years.

“In response, southern African heads of State have declared natural disasters in their countries and have collectively launched a US$5 billion regional and humanitarian appeal to mitigate the effects of the drought.”

She said by fostering competition and ensuring fair pricing in these markets, the region could collectively promote regional agricultural sustainability and economic prosperity thus guaranteeing household food security.

“The dissemination comes at an opportune time given that the majority of countries in the Comesa [Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa] region have been affected by the drought, and are facing soaring food prices which are disproportionately high compared to input costs, and high levels of market concentration among the major suppliers in these markets,” Ruparanganda noted.

She emphasised that the International Competition Network Special Project on Agriculture and Food Markets would be given the prominence it needed to improve agriculture across Africa.

“We all agree that agriculture is the cornerstone of most of our economies, and factors such as geopolitical shocks and climate change, have destabilised agricultural markets to the detriment of our citizenry,” Ruparanganda continued.

She said group meetings would furthermore; capacitate researchers with tools for undertaking research and market inquiries.

The official also noted that the AfCFTA would open an opportunity for intra-Africa trade enhancing Africa’s competitiveness in global markets.

“The AfCFTA represents an opportunity to enhance economic integration and unlock the full potential of intra-Africa trade. Facilitating the free movement of goods and services will spur investment, job creation, and industrialization, thereby enhancing Africa's competitiveness in global markets,” Ruparanganda added.

She expressed her hope that the AfCFTA protocol would be prioritised and formulate a common approach within the Comesa region on competition policy.


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