Consumer protection in the Middle East and North Africa supported by new Cairo training centre

27 February 2018

UNCTAD and the Egyptian government come together to open a training centre for regional consumer protection officials.

UNCTAD and Egypt’s Consumer Protection Agency have opened a Regional Training Centre for Consumer Protection in Cairo.

The centre will to hold training courses on consumer protection law, regulations and policies for officials from countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, including from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and the State of Palestine.

“The foundation of competition and the foundation of consumer protection are important for trade progress and development,” Minister of Supply and Internal Trade of Egypt Ali Al-Moselhi, who opened the training centre, said.

The chairman of Egypt’s Consumer Protection Agency, Atef Yacoub, added that “the main goal of the training centre is to provide innovative, effective and integrated training opportunities for consumer protection agencies but also to several other stakeholders of the region. Through this centre, we enhance cooperation with our partners with the support of UNCTAD through the UNCTAD MENA Programme”.

Officials who can benefit from training in competition and consumer protection issues include representatives from consumer protection agencies, ministries, sector regulators, businesses and consumer associations.

The training centre will play an important role in helping officials in the region understand consumer protection issues, including product safety, risk assessments, e-commerce, financial services, tourism, misleading advertisements and others.

“The opening of the UNCTAD MENA Consumer Protection Training Centre in Cairo will be a landmark for strengthening capacities on consumer protection in the MENA region,” UNCTAD’s head of competition and consumer protection Teresa Moreira said. “It will set an example that may be replicated in other regions of the world.”

Regional training workshop

Also in Cairo on 25–28 February, UNCTAD and Egypt's Consumer Protection Agency held a regional training workshop on consumer protection policy.

The main objective was to present, discuss and validate the UNCTAD guidelines drafted on the topics of consumer protection agency effectiveness, on consumer associations and on business engagement for consumer protection.

The workshop gathered representatives of consumer protection agencies, government bodies and sectoral regulators, and consumer and business organizations.

The UNCTAD MENA Programme, which is supported by the Swedish government, aims to promote regional economic integration through the adoption of competition and consumer protection legislation and policies, gender equality, anti-corruption and good governance in the region.

The first UNCTAD MENA regional training centre for consumer protection was opened by UNCTAD in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy and Trade of Lebanon in Beirut in April 2017.