The Competition Authority is a parastatal which falls under the policy guidance of the Ministry of Trade and Industry. While the Chief Executive Officer is appointed by the Minister of Trade, he reports to the board of governors known as the Competition Commission.
The Competition Authority and the Competition Commission were established in terms of the Competition Act of 2009 as two independent but accountable bodies in the enforcement and advocacy functions under the Act. The Competition Commission is primarily an adjudicative body for matters falling under the Act as well as the governing body of the Competition Authority. On the other hand, the Competition Authority is the full-time secretariat, dealing with the day to day operations of the Authority, including conducting investigations and other matters incidental thereto under the Act. For policy guidance, both bodies fall under the ambit of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The Competition Act followed the National Competition Policy for Botswana which was passed by the National Assembly in 2005. The Policy was preceded by an Economic Mapping Survey that noted levels of unemployment and increasing dominance of foreign firms in Botswana’s economy. The survey also highlighted the need to safeguard and promote the growth and development of citizen-owned small and medium enterprises, as well as diversification of the economy.
“To promote and maintain fair competition in the economy."
“To secure prosperity through fair markets"
Role of the Competition Commission
- The Competition Authority falls under the guidance of the Competition Commission. The role of the Commission is to:
- Provide general policy direction to the Competition Authority;
- Adjudicate or preside over matters referred to it by the Authority;
- Approve recommendations from the Chief Executive Officer for appointment of such employees as it deems necessary.
Mandate of the Competition Authority
- Prevent any anti-competitive conduct in the economy.
- Investigate and resolve all complaints of anti-competitive conduct in the market.
- Advise government on laws that have an anti-competitive effect.
- Investigate anti-competitive conduct such as bid rigging, price fixing, allocating of customers, etc.
- Regulate the merging of enterprises.
- Advise the Government on all international agreements that have a competition element.
- Initiate market studies in identified sectors of the economy.