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CFTC launches Braille IEC materials

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A group photo of participants at the launch  

The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC), on 24th March 2017, launched Braille IEC materials to ensure that the visually impaired have access to and understand competition and consumer protection issues.

Speaking during the launch of the materials at Montfort Special Needs College in Chiradzulu, CFTC Executive Director, Charlotte Wezi Malonda noted that although the Commission has been distributing IEC materials to every district in Malawi, the IEC materials were inaccessible to the visually impaired. 

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CFTC CONDUCTS LECTURE AT CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY

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Participants to the Competition Law Lecture

To ensure that students are well versed with competition and consumer protection issues, on 23rd March, 2017 the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) conducted a competition law lecture at the Catholic University. This was the 10th lecture in a series of lectures to public and private universities.

Speaking during the lecture which was attended by over 200 students, CFTC Executive Director, Charlotte Wezi Malonda thanked the University for giving the Commission an opportunity to talk to the students about competition and consumer protection issues.

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Malawi celebrates World Consumer Rights Day

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Parade during Consumer Rights Day

The Competition and Fair Trading Commission on Wednesday, 15th March 2017, led consumers and traders in the country in celebrating the World Consumer Rights Day under the theme ”Consumer Rights in the Digital Age”.

The celebrations, which took place in Lilongwe, started with a consumers’ parade, from Simama Hotel to Lilongwe City Mall (Game Complex), where the main event took place.

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CFTC lectures at Exploits and Pentecostal Life Universities

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Participants to the public lecture pose for a group photo

The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC), on 27th and 28th October 2016 respectively, delivered public lectures on competition and consumer protection at Exploits University and Pentecostal Life University in Lilongwe.

Among other issues, the lecture focused on regulatory role of the Commission, CFTC’s investigative function, anti competitive practices, regulation of mergers and consumer protection.

Speaking during the lectures, CFTC Executive Director, Charlotte Wezi Malonda said the CFTA is an Act which aims to encourage competition in the economy by prohibiting anti-competitive trade practices and to protect consumer welfare.

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Director of Consumer Welfare and Education Lewis Kulisewa (L) responds to a question as Malonda (R) listens

“The overall function of the Commission is to regulate, monitor, control and prevent acts or behaviour which are likely to adversely affect competition and fair trading in Malawi,” Said Malonda.

Specifically the CFTC carries out investigations on its own initiative or based on a complaint, provides advisory role on rights and duties under Act and consumer education and undertakes market studies.

Speaking after the function, Exploits Executive Dean of Commerce Madalitso Mukiwa said the lecture was important as it explained some of the concepts that the students learn during their programmes.

Allan McCormick of Pentecostal Life University invited the CFTC for another lecture in the near future,

“We really appreciate the CFTC’s visit and lecture. This was an important lecture as it has simplified some of the principles that the students have problems understanding,” said McCormick.

The CFTC introduced public lecture series in both public and private universities in 2013. Since then, the Commission has done public lectures at Chancellor College and the Malawi Polytechnic, Seventh Day Adventist University, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mzuzu University, Catholic University of Malawi and Blantyre International University.

Exploits University was established in 2010 and offersboth undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the Faculty of Commerce. Pentecostal Life University is a private Christian University founded in 2013 and offers Ph.D, Masters, Bachelors and Diploma programmes.

Malawi Insurance Industry concentrated—CFTC

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Chiputula speaking during a business clinic, earlier

 

The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) has said the insurance industry in Malawi has a high market concentration, a situation which signifies that market power in the industry can be abused.

 

CFTC Director of Mergers and Acquisitions, Richard Chiputula presenting a paper in Mangochi at the 2016 Annual Conference for the Insurance Institute of Malawi,   noted that both general and life insurance markets in the country are concentrated.

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CFTC, Youth NGO Collaborate to Spread Consumer Protection Messages in Ntchisi

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Participants to the NOYD’s Bi-Annual Review Meeting 

The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC), in collaboration with Ntchisi Organisation for Youth and Development (NOYD), sensitized 28 Community-based Facilitators (CBFs) about Competition and Fair Trading Act during NOYD’s Bi-Annual Review Meeting that was held at Ntchisi Boma from 25-26August, 2016. The CBFs were drawn from all seven Traditional Authorities in Ntchisi District.

 

Recognising that one of their project thematic areas touched on demanding consumer protection as a right, NOYD invited the CFTC to make presentations on the same. This activity falls under the Community Participation in Democratic Processes Project and is funded by the Democracy Consolidation Programme (DCP).

 

During the meeting, the CFTC presentations were made by Mr Fexter Katungwe and Mr Innocent Helema, who are Senior Economist and Economist respectively. The presentations covered areas such as Competition Policy and Law in Malawi, Commission’s structure and Mandate, Restrictive Business Practices, Unfair Trading Practices, Traders’ and Consumer Rights and Complaint Handling.

 

When the floor was opened for the participants’ feedback, CFTC was overwhelmed with opinions and concerns regarding the myriad of anticompetitive and unfair trading practices that are prominent in Ntchisi markets. They lamented about inefficient utility suppliers in the district, fixing of prices by various industries, substandard scales by produce traders and existence of substandard drugs in private clinics amongst others.

 

The participants were assured about the awareness and enforcement measures that the Commission undertakes to curb such malpractices and were encouraged to report them to CFTC offices if redress is not secured in time from the concerned traders.  It was also pointed out that CFTC collaborates with various sector regulators to deal with issues that do not directly fall under its mandate with the aim of facilitating the expected redress.

 

Speaking after the presentations, the NOYD Executive Director, Mr. Richard Kalea appreciated the existence of the Commission and indicated that NOYD would like to enhance the relationship with the Commission in order to spread the consumer protection messages to all areas in Ntchisi District. He hinted that the messages can be effectively delivered to the masses if CFTC chooses to use CBFs to spread the messages.

 

“These facilitators come from all over the district and they will be able to take the message to the grassroots,” said Mr. Kalea.

The Commission appreciated the gesture and promised to use the chance to enhance its advocacy efforts in the district.

Boosting Competition in African Markets Can Enhance Growth and Lift at least Half a Million People out of Poverty

Boosting competition in consumer markets and key input sectors can help African countries grow faster and alleviate poverty, according to a report launched today by the World Bank Group and the African Competition Forum (ACF).

  

The report,Breaking Down Barriers, finds that reducing the prices of basic food staples by just 10%, as a result of tackling cartels and improving regulations that limit competition in food markets, could lift nearly half a million people in Kenya, South Africa and Zambia alone out of poverty and save households in these countries over US$700 million a year. Read more

CFTC conducts clinics in nine centres

sensitises estate agents against quoting in foreign currency 

The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC), from 18th to 22nd July 2016 conducted business clinics across the country to sensitise traders about restrictive business and unfair trading practices.

Specifically, the business clinics were conducted in Blantyre, Lunzu, Neno  in the Southern region,  Ntchisi, Mponela, Mchinji in Central region and Dwangwa, Mzuzu and Mzimba.

Speaking at Malawi Sun Hotel in Blantyre during a business clinic attended by over fifty estate agents drawn from the Association of Real Estate Agents (AREA), Director of Consumer Welfare and Education, Lewis Kulisewa commended delegates for their overwhelming response and quest for information about competition and consumer protection law

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