Africa: Overview of competition & antitrust regulations and developments in 2021

Competition law a key driver for market participation, consumer protection and fair business practices in post-pandemic environment

In brief

Baker McKenzie recently produced a comprehensive guide covering latest developments in competition law in 25 African countries. The guide, titled An Overview of Competition & Antitrust Regulations and Developments in Africa: 2021, can be downloaded here.


Key takeaways 


Baker McKenzie’s Competition and Antitrust lawyers in Cairo, Casablanca, Johannesburg, Paris and Washington DC, recently collaborated with competition lawyers in the Firm's African Relationship Firms, to produce a comprehensive guide covering the latest developments in African competition law in 25 countries across the continent. 

The Guide - An Overview of Competition & Antitrust Regulations and Developments in Africa: 2021 – covers competition law developments at a country level, itemising relevant amendments and the approaches of competition authorities on topical issues, including the country-specific competition law responses to the impact of COVID-19. It can be downloaded here.

Below are some of the highlights from the Guide:

New and amended competition legislation

  • Numerous countries in Africa have strengthened their competition law regime by way of amendments to the existing legislation or by introducing new laws. 
  • Botswana’s Competition Act came into force at the end of 2019.
  • Kenya recently introduced a host of new laws, guidelines and rules relating to competition law.
  • Ghana’s Draft Competition Bill is currently before parliament awaiting passage into law.
  • Egypt, South Africa and Mauritius amended their competition legislation by introducing or giving effect to new provisions and regulations.
  • Regional competition authority -  the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa - revised its competition regulations.

COVID -19 responses

  • Competition authorities across Africa responded to COVID-19 by introducing established strategies for maintaining competition and limiting instances of customer exploitation in their respective countries. 
  • Countries such as Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria and South Africa reacted quickly to pandemic impacts by introducing new guidelines and regulations

The regulators

  • Africa’s competition regulators are gaining momentum and becoming more sophisticated in the analysis of mergers and understanding of prohibited practices.
  • Africa has a number of regional competition regulators, including the West African Economic Monetary Union, the East African Community, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the Economic Community of West African States  and the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa.
  • The African Competition Forum, an association of African competition agencies, promotes competition policy awareness in Africa and the adoption of competition policies and laws.

For an interactive webpage where you can view and compare jurisdictions, click here.

For an overview of Competition & Antitrust Regulations and Developments in Africa click here for a video.


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