Creation of competion regime and institutions

Region: East Africa
Country: Tanzania

ASI provided support to the Tanzanian government in the design and establishment of a competition regulatory regime.  In 2002, ASI's competition team, composed of internationally renowned competition lawyers and former heads of UK competition authorities, began work with Ministry of Industry and Trade to draft a legal basis for a Fair Competition Commission (FCC) and Fair Competition Tribunal (FCT). This resulted in the Fair Competition Act. The Act was a model of best practice in the region: a considerable achievement for a government beset by other legislative priorities and a vindication of ASI's ability to persuade stakeholders both in government and outside of it that competition reform was necessary for development.

Once the legal basis of the competition bodies was established (by 2004), ASI worked closely with global competition authorities and officials in Tanzania's existing enterprise and trade ministries to draft procedural guidelines for the operation of both the FCC and FCT.

The FCC and FCT are models of modern, objective and unbiased competition authorities. They can consider cases referred to them by other market authorities (infrastructure regulators, for example) and investigate further.  They can also follow up allegations from members of the public where anti-competitive practice is suspected.  Common examples may include grocery or fuel cartels in rural Tanzania, or mergers between land-owners in exclusive national parkland.  More than this, however, the FCC can instigate its own investigations. These can either follow up an action (such as a merger, purchase or trade agreement) or even precede it: the FCC can launch an investigation as to the competitive merits of a possible merger going ahead, before any papers have changed hands.

The FCT, the judicial appeal/dispute body, has similar powers of discretion and is closely modelled on responsive and objective judicial principles. Together, these organisations provide Tanzania with one of the most adequately mandated and legally supported competition authorities in Africa.

ASI also advised the Tanzanian government on recruitment and training of competition commissioners and tribunal members.  By the end of 2005, ASI had contributed to every aspect of the establishment of Tanzania's new competition authorities and had received praise for its work from both the donor and recipient partner bodies.