After setting clear strategic objectives and strategies to ensure that the Competition Authority does not become a talking-shop in Botswana, it has become a result-oriented business facilitator,” said the Chief Executive Officer, Thula Kaira.
Kaira said that the government has conferred on the Authority and its investigative independence from any other external influence and assures the business community of the highest level of transparency, accountability and due processes in all the dealings.
Addressing members of the media this week, he revealed that the Authority has done the completion of the Competition Regulation and Regulations and Operationalisation of Act with effect October 14, 2011.
Kaira highlighted that the Authority received 22 cases of which 11 were completed and 11 carried forward to the following year. He said, of the completed cases, 10 were mergers and acquisitions related while one was a predatory pricing case in the milk industry. He added that of the 10 merger cases, all were approved except one.
“We have secured membership of the Competition Authority in the International Competition Network, which boasts membership of 123 competition authorities in the world,” said Kaira.
Over and above that, Kaira revealed that they have signed Memorandum of Understanding with DCEC and the PPADB to facilitate joint investigations into primarily bid-rigging, which is a criminal offence under the competition Act. He further highlighted that they have already engaged 15 outreach programs, which have included local authorities and government departments from Gaborone to Kasane.
In terms of finance, Kaira mentioned that the Authority received a total of P19.9 million in our first financial year, which has been used in an accountable manner. He said the bulk of the funds were utilized in office refurbishment, office furniture and equipment and staff related issues.
“Already we have identified and secured a corporate logo and tag-line and we have strategic plan document for 2012-2016 aligned to the Vision 2016. We remain grateful to the government through the Ministry of Trade and Industry who facilitated the resources,” he said.
Amongst the achievements, he stated that the Competition Authority has also been admitted as a member of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Competition Law. He said that while it is agreed that competition law is new in Botswana, they have strived in the first year to begin on a positive note and to guard against complacency and mediocrity.
Meanwhile, he launched the new website, www.competitionauthority.co.bw which has since been activated.
The launch of the authority took place January 26 2012 and he has also successfully held a national stakeholder conference on March 15 2012 which was attended by over 200 participants, including local authorities, consumer representatives and business community.