29 October 2008

Gambia: Competition Commission Inaugurated

Hon. Abdou Kolley, Secretary of State for Trade, Industry and Employment, on Monday afternoon, presided over the inauguration of Commissioners for the Gambia Competition Commission (GCC), at a ceremony held at Department of State for Trade, Industry and Employment, in Banjul.

The GCC Commission members include, Alhaji Tumu Njie, as chairman, Mrs Ida Drammeh, Bukahri Sillah, Katim Touray and Omar Jobe.

In his inaugural speech, SoS Kolley thanked the commission members for accepting to serve as commissioners in the newly established Commission. He recalled that the development of a competition policy and law started in 2000 when DoSTIE sought technical assistance from the Commonwealth Secretariat.

"The long and protracted consultative process culminated in the enactment of the competition act in 2007, which has been gazetted and started operation since January 1st, 2008. This enactment is a necessary complement to the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority act 2001, and give an added confidence to investors wishing to invest in The Gambia by providing a more predictable business environment," SoS Kolley noted.

"You will agree with me that competition is one of the main engines of economic development. As such, the essential function of the competition law is to promote and protect the free functioning of these markets that are open to competition. In discharging your duties, you will be required to collaborate and cooperate with certain key institutions, in particular, the Central Bank of the Gambia (CBG) and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), whose regulatory activities are complementary and mutually reinforcing with those of the competition commission," SoS Kolley explained.

He highlighted some of the major roles and responsibilities of the commission and expressed hope that they would live up to expectation.

Alhaji Tumu Njie, the chairman of the commission, thanked the department of state for Trade, Industry and Employment, for the trust and confidence bestowed on them. He assured the gathering that his team would work as expected.

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