Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Gambia Competition Commission goes global

By Lamin Jahateh, Banjul
The Gambia Competition Commission (GCC) on Friday launched its website designed to popularize the provisions of The Gambia Competition Act 2007 on prohibited business practices.
The object is to reach all and sundry, especially economic operators and other stakeholders in The Gambia and around the world.
With this website, the GCC is now represented on the ‘World Wide Web’, which allows information dissemination to a wider audience both in and out of the country.
The website, www.gcc.gm, is very innovative and it covers most of the issues on prohibited practices of interest to businesses, and also provides answers to the types of questions that one may ask about the Competition Act and the Competition Commission.
“The launching of this website is one of the many useful functions that the Competition Commission is mandated and discharging for the economic betterment of the country,” said the chairman of the Commission, Alhaji T.S Njie, during the official launching of the GCC’s website held on Friday at the Commission’s office in Kotu.
He explained further: “The launching of the website is the beginning of a very long process of establishing and fine-tuning the economic space that we have in this country that affects every one of us as well as generations of Gambians yet to come.
“This website is a very useful link between the Commission, stakeholders in the economy, policymakers, and the outside world including our trading partners, such that we can share information and establish communication channels that will enable us to achieve the very useful role that has been charged to the Gambia Competition Commission, which is to ensure the creation and the maintenance of a healthy competitive state throughout the economy of The Gambia so that businesses, both large and small as well as the consumers who are the ultimate targets of public policy, will benefit immensely from the expenditure of scarce resources that they have been able to mass up.”
With the website, all interested parties in the activities of GCC and the establishment of a competitive environment within the economy of The Gambia would be able to effectively interact in exchanging information in the lodging of complaints and in searching for guidance on how to channel complaints or any information that may be useful for the operations of business establishments.
The launching of the website, which will serve as advocacy tool, provides a ‘window of opportunity’ for the general public to upscale their understanding on what is happening at the Commission, said Ebrima Jobe, Officer-in-Charge of GCC.
“It will raise the awareness of stakeholders and the general public to appreciate the advantages of healthy competition and embrace competition as a complement to government’s effort in socio-economic development,” he said.
Good competition policy takes time and is costly to implement as it involves a major cultural shift, Mr Jobe says, adding that it is everybody’s business, not only the business of the GCC.
To achieve that, he says, building alliances with all stakeholders for meaningful collaboration is pivotal for the effective and efficient implementation of the competition policy and law.
“Competition policy and law is primarily designed to preserve unrestrained interaction of competition forces that will yield enterprise development through efficient levels of investment in innovation, adoption of new technologies and production process, and introduction of new products,” Mr Jobe notes.
“It also ensures that the market place remains competitive so that consumers will have more choice and that the range of options is not significantly impaired or distorted by anti-competitive practices.”
The launching of the websites has marked a quantum leap by the GCC towards the fulfillment of its vision of “levelling the field for development”, which is in line with the government’s policy of enhancing private sector efficiency, performing effectiveness and service delivery.
“The website therefore acts as an advocacy tool for GCC and a resource centre for all stakeholders,” said Nafie Barry, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment.
She added: “The website is indeed an innovative transformation as we interact in this new technological era.”


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