BY PATIENCE RADISOENG
The Competition Authority (CA) will host the national Competition Symposium on the 10th of April with the aim to bring a diversity of stakeholders to share ideas around key issues on competition and growing the economy.
The Director for communication and Advocacy of CA- Gideon Nkala says there will be 3 sessions at this symposium, one of them is the issue relating to what is termed vertical integrational which refers to a situation where companies or enterprises that are in the market for example Choppies, Spar or Pick and pay for instance have different suppliers across the value chain so it happens that some of the suppliers are small businesses that supplies them with vegetables, chickens or spices
As sometimes as business grow and they decide for so many reasons that they are no longer buying chicken from suppliers to build their own farm where they will rear their own chicken and then hatch them there, buy eggs from themselves thus they intergrade the services.
“So what it means is that they no longer buy things from suppliers this could be good for them because they can now decide this is the quality we want or the quantity they want so they are in control of that but on the bad side one is that those that used to be their sellers are now struggling as they do not buy from them now,” he continued.
The other panel will be talking about monopolies created by the government such as Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) and Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) whether they are having competition or not.
While the last session of the symposium will focus on the Authority’s preparedness to transform into the Competition and Consumer Authority.
The competition Symposium is coming at a time where the CA is on the verge of taking another responsibility of consumer protection.
“As you are aware the government has passed the law, revised completion act and the consumer protection act which has been done by the government under the department of consumer affairs so the decision has been made to pass the responsibility to CA though it is still left with the final lag to be commissioned by the minister,” said Nkala.
Adding that at the symposium they are going to tell the participants how far they are and what the highlights of this act are and the readiness to do this.
He stated that they are expecting about over 100 participants from labour, academia and different producers of small businesses and other businesses.
Nkala noted; “At the moment I cannot say who will be among the panel discussion team as we are still waiting for full confirmation but towards end of next week I will be sure who will be available.”
He said they have an annual competition conference but this is the first time they are having a symposium and the intention is that they have it annually. And the general theme of the Symposium is An Integrated Business and Competition.