Nairobi, Kenya | Xinhua | The UN on Thursday urged Africa to develop clear competition and consumer protection rules for African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in order to boost trade.
Mukhisa Kituyi, secretary general of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) told a trade forum in Nairobi that lack of adequate competition laws leads to distortion practices that undermine cross-border trade.
“We need to have clear competition laws regulating cross border trade so that enterprises and trade can thrive in Africa,” Kituyi said during a trade forum on the AfCFTA.
Kituyi added that the main casualties when big enterprises use competition laws to their advantage are small enterprises.
He noted that small and medium-sized enterprises play a big role in the continent because they provide the bulk of employment opportunities.
The UNCTAD senior official revealed that there is currently a shift in global value chains as firms seek to source from local sources.
“This phenomenon has disrupted African companies that had found a niche in supplying global value chains,” Kituyi said.
He observed that the continental-wide free trade regime will help Africa’s economic rebound during and after the post-COVID-19 pandemic.
He noted that Africa is the region that least trades with itself due to heavy reliance on international markets for its commodities.
He said that up to 40 percent of goods traded between African countries are value-added products.