Media practitioners have a critical role to play to ensure that the benefits of competition and globalisation reach consumers within the region by helping to raise awareness on competition regulations across the region.
In a message delivered at a regional media workshop in Livingstone, Zambia, Comesa Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya told reporters that media can help raise awareness of both “the role and actions of a competition authority as well as the benefits of addressing anti competitive behaviour.”
“Stating and explaining the merits of a competitive environment in common language may help the public to better relate to competition policy objectives,” Ngwenya said.
The media sensitisation workshop, which ended over the weekend, sought to raise awareness on the regional competition regulations and their benefits to the bloc’s member states.
Adopted in 2004, the Comesa Competition Regulations Act is a legal framework for the regulation of competition in the market. But officials say the awareness level within the region remains low, while its domestication and implementation still faces challenges.
“Media advocacy influences the behaviour of businesses through enhancing an understanding of competition law and exposing risks taken by offenders, thus contributing to improving compliance,” Sindiso said.
Media advocacy may further influence the behaviour of policy makers through advancing democratic discussion of policy issues, the official said.
Media’s role in detecting anti-competitive practices on the markets is critical, something Sindiso said helps competition authorities in their quest to enforce regulations.