The five newly appointed Commissioners of the East African Community Competition Authority (EACCA) have been sworn in at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
The appointed Commissioners were approved by the 33rd Meeting of the Council of Ministers held on February 29, 2016, which considered nominees submitted by each Partner State and appointed them as Commissioners of the EACCA.
The five Commissioners of the Authority include Mr Sam K. watasa (Uganda) Mr. Innocent Habarugira (Burundi), Mr. Francis W. Kariuki (Kenya), Dr. Frederick Ringo (Tanzania) and Dr. Didas M. Kayihura (Rwanda).
Presiding over the function on behalf of the EAC Secretary General, the Registrar of the East African Court of Justice His Worship Yufnalis Okubo, congratulated the commissioners upon their appointment as the first Commissioners to serve the EAC Competition Authority.
“The onset of the EAC Common Market, coupled with our engagement in the globalized world implies that a higher percentage of competition cases have a significant regional and international ramification. The foregoing calls for the establishment of the EAC Competition Authority to regulate regional competition matters,” said the Registrar.
He urged Partner States to benchmark on international best practices in the enforcement of the EAC Competition Act 2006.
The Commissioners pledged their commitment to the Community by signing the Oaths of Allegiance and Secrecy, a formality and requirement delivered and witnessed by the EACJ Registrar Okubo, assisted by the Counsel to the Community Dr. Anthony Kafumbe, and Principal Human Resource Officer Ms. Ruth Simba, among other staff from the EAC Secretariat.
During their three-day inaugural meeting, the Commissioners considered the Authority’s draft internal rules of procedure which spell out how it will conduct its business, developed a work plan and EAC merger review issues.
The EAC Competition Act, 2006, among other things, seeks to allow consumers to take class action against goods or services providers. It also seeks to seal loopholes that enable trade associations and firms operating across the region to engage in exclusive agreements, or form cartels, forcing consumers to pay higher prices for goods and services.