The AfCFTA Competition Protocol

African countries have added a third layer of regulation of competition policy by adopting the AfCFTA Competition Protocol, in addition to seven regional competition regimes and more than 40 national competition agencies (NCAs). The Protocol has established a supranational institutional regime, creating the AfCFTA Competition Authority and Board, which will investigate competition issues with a continental dimension. While the adoption of the Protocol has been welcomed, questions arise as to how the institutional design will address jurisdictional conflicts, conflicts of laws, and harmonization of laws at national and regional levels in a continent with varied legal systems. Drawing from the experiences of the European Union and African regional competition regimes such as the COMESA Competition Commission, Vellah Kedogo Kigwiru will discuss how the AfCFTA competition regime will leverage the opportunities and challenges of its institutional design in enforcing a continental competition law.

Vellah Kedogo Kigwiru is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya, a Doctoral Research Fellow at the Technical University of Munich’s (TUM) School of Social Sciences and Technology, and an Associate Research Fellow at the Digital Futures at Work Research Centre, University of Sussex, UK. Her recent paper titled, ‘Supranational or cooperative? Rethinking the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement Competition Protocol institutional design’ has been selected for the 2024 Antitrust Writing Awards, organized by Concurrences and George Washington University, for the best Academic Articles category in the subcategory ‘Cross-border’.

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The AfCFTA Competition Protocol

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