The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Will Gov’t Face
Regional Sanction?

Not one official of the CDC-led government attended the recent workshop for Advocacy and Sensitization of Liberian stakeholders of the ECOWAS Competition framework.
The workshop was organized by the ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority (ERAC) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The high level ECOWAS delegation could not conduct the regional binding workshop and had to depart for The Gambia due to Liberia’s failure to be in attendance even as host country.
ERAC Executive Director, Dr. Simenon Koffi, was short of words to describe what led to the government’s action to boycott but said the government’s absent could be lack of proper communication.
According to him, Liberia’s failure to participant is not a good sign for the country’s business climate, noting that such regional workshops by law, must be attended by representatives of all ECOWAS’ countries.
Any country that refuses, could be investigated by ECOWAS and when found culpable by the regional body, could be sanctioned or fined based on the an investigative panel report.
According to our reporter, the Ministry of Commerce, Communication Director, Jacob Parley was seen in the hall morning hours, but could not be found no where before the start of the program.
According report, the Ministry of Commerce’s Communication Director who visited the workshop on the ground floor of the Corina Hotel had gone to attend another function at the same location but upstairs in another conference room.
Other ECOWAS delegate had no choice after organizing food for over 200 participants, but to beg invited journalists to eat as much they can and even “take-home” because the food was surplus.
After awaiting officials of government for several hours, the delegates were coerced to change the workshop to a press conference and disclosed the essence of the regional forum.
EWCOWAS Regional Competition Authority (ERCA) has its headquarters in The Gambia and was set-up by Heads of States as a specialized agency in 2019 with the mandate to review the commercial activities in the region, to ensure that there is no breach in competition in the region, to fight anti-competitive practices and also to monitor all the agreements between actors in the regional market.
For Liberia, the workshop being hosted in Liberia was intended to expose the government to create a free and fair competitive environment in the region.
Addressing the Liberian media, Dr. Koffi, said, the delegate’s mission was intended to sensitize Liberians stakeholders about the ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority.
He said ECOWAS also intends to sensitize member states about the framework because it is geared towards having an agreement that ties every one to one policy that will ensure regional and sustainable development plans.
The framework also intends to ensure regional trade to allow for all the member states to move forward and increase the potential to trade developments without hinder.
Avowing the importance of the every country involvement, Dr. Koffi said, together everyone can achieve the objective of regional framework.
“Liberia also is engaged in promoting competition. Am saying the national authorities like the ministry of commerce, has the national competition laws. So the regional competition policy is to help the countries in implementing the national laws. For instance, if an action from another member state affects Liberia’s economy, Liberia alone cannot intervene,” he said.
“I will l admonish you to ensure that you monitor the implementation of these policies and be sure that trade in our region can be done according to the best standards that are applied with in every advance countries,” he reiterated.

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