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17 Manchester J. Int'l Econ. L. 98 (2020)
The Cooperation on Competition Policy under the African Continental Free Trade Area

handle is hein.journals/mjiel17 and id is 106 raw text is: Manchester Journal of International Economic Law
Volume 17, Issue 1: 98-121, 2020
The Cooperation on Competition Policy under the African Continental
Free Trade Area
Vellah Kedogo Kigwiru*
ABSTRACT: The dream of establishing an African common market that would lead to an African
Economic Community begun in the 1980s, when the Lagos Plan of Action for the Economic
Development of Africa was adopted. The establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area
(AfCFTA) which came into force on 30th May 2019 provides the most recent, and perhaps the most
critical milestone in the integration process because it provides a foundation upon which an African
Customs Union can materialise. It is recognised that for the AfCFTA to meet its general objectives
under Article 3 of the AfCFTA Framework Agreement; States Parties need to cooperate on
competition policy which is part of the second phase of the negotiations that will culminate into a
Protocol on Competition Policy. At the time of writing this paper, the negotiations on the
cooperation on competition policy are on the horizon. As such, this paper seeks to inform the design
and implementation of the proposed competition policy under the AfCFTA by espousing the benefits,
potential and challenges of adopting a continental competition policy framework. More importantly,
building upon the literature on competition policy under free trade areas (FTAs), this paper also
seeks to answer a pertinent question on the mind of the majority of stakeholders which is: how
should a competition policy under the AfCFTA be fashioned?
1. INTRODUCTION
In 2019, African countries signed the Framework Agreement establishing the African
Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The AfCFTA Framework Agreement (Framework
Agreement), which entered into force on May 30, 2019, creates in principle the largest Free
* Doctoral Research Fellow, Technical University of Munich's (TUM) School of Governance, School of Politics,
Department of International Relations; Guest Researcher, Marx Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition,
Munich Germany; LLM and LLB (Hons), University of Nairobi, Kenya; Post Graduate Diploma in Law, Kenya
School of Law, Kenya. Previously worked as legal analyst at the Competition Authority of Kenya, adjunct lecturer
at the Riara University School of Law and an Associate at Laichena Mugambi and Company Advocates, Nairobi,
Kenya. Kigwiru's doctoral dissertation focuses on regionalisation of competition law and policy in Africa and
examines various challenges facing the regional regulation of market competition in Africa, including jurisdictional
conflicts, conflicts of laws, and absence and/or weak enforcement competition regimes at the national level. Contact
details: vellahkedogo@gmail.com/vellah.kigwiru@hfp.tum.de.

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