An UNCTAD technical assistance project to reinforce the capacities of the Ethiopian Trade Competition and Consumer Protection Authority was launched in Addis Ababa on 29 January. The project is funded by the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
On 21 March 2014, Ethiopian government introduced a new Trade Competition and Consumers Protection Proclamation (No. 813/2013) to protect the business community from anti-competitive and unfair market practices and also consumers from misleading market conducts.
At the request of the Ethiopian Government, UNCTAD will assist the Ethiopian Trade Competition and Consumer Protection Authority (TCCPA) to implement the new competition and consumer protection laws. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg agreed to provide financial support to this three-year project.
The project was launched in Addis Ababa, on 29 January 2015, at an event organized by UNCTAD, the Luxembourg Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva and Embassy of Luxembourg in Ethiopia, Ethiopian Trade Competition and Consumer Protection Authority and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia.
The event attracted high level representation from the Ethiopian Government and the media. Participants included:
H.E. Alto Ali Siraj, Minister of State, Ministry of Trade.
H.E. Negash Kibret, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, and Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the United Nations in Geneva, representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
H.E. Jean-Marc Hoscheit, Ambassador of Luxembourg to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union.
Mr. Merkebu, Director General, Trade Competition and Consumer Protection Authority (TCCPA).
Ms. Elizabeth Gachuiri, Economic Affairs Officer, Competition and Consumer Policies Branch of UNCTAD.
The event provided an opportunity for the TCCPA to present the Project to relevant stakeholders and for the Trade and Foreign Affairs Ministries' representatives to outline the Government's objective to create an enabling environment for business through the development and implementation of appropriate policies and laws.
The Luxembourg Ambassador expressed his government's commitment to enhance bilateral relations with Ethiopia.
UNCTAD, in collaboration with the TCCPA, will start work on the project in the first quarter of 2015 - drawing up an implementation plan and facilitating the establishment of a steering committee, in order to enhance its implementation.
The project will cover activities based on four broad areas, including policy and legal framework, institutional framework, enforcement capacity building, and advocacy for competition and consumer protection.
Competition law enforcement is an essential tool to ensure that Ethiopians benefit from trade liberalization. Consumer protection is complementary to competition law and policy in enhancing consumer welfare.