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Jonathan Klaaren, professor and former dean of the School,
Simon Roberts, professor of economics and executive director of the Centre for Competition,
Imraan Valodia, professor of Economics and dean of the Faculty of Commerce
In March 2015, South Africa's Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED) partnered with the Zimbabwe Competition and Tariff Commission to host the inaugural Annual Competition and Economic Regulation (ACER) week at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Much of the success of the week was in combining rigorous training led by regional and global experts with a conference programme that was designed with inputs from authorities in the region to make sure it was topical and directly relevant. The discussions were especially vibrant and the subject matter of particular relevance to solving the challenges of enforcement and growth for agencies in the southern African region and beyond. The papers in this volume were selected from those presented at the ACER conference, following a rigorous refereeing process.
The period since the early 1990s has seen the emergence and consolidation of competition and regulation authorities in a number of countries across the continent. This volume aims to play a role in critically analysing key competition issues and in considering the interface of competition and a range of economic policy questions. The papers we collected and edited for presentation in this volume fit into three clusters: cartel law enforcement, issues in competition and regulation, and competition and regulation in reshaping African markets. The conclusion, a substantive chapter in its own right, addresses competition and regional integration as part of an inclusive growth agenda for Africa.
The areas covered here show that there are complex and interesting developments in the competition and regulation space within the region. There is thus a clear need for an overall assessment and for measures to foster the development of a body of knowledge and literature that originates from the experiences of countries in the region, rather than relying exclusively on international precedent and learnings. One example of this is Thula Kaira's discussion in chapter 3 of the poor translation of cartel findings in South Africa into follow-on investigations and prosecution in neighbouring countries in the Southern African Customs Union and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and ultimately into damage claims based on an assessment of the overcharge to consumers across borders.
Shaping markets through competition and economic regulation is at the heart of addressing the development challenges facing countries in southern Africa. The contributors to Competition Law and Economic Regulation: Addressing Market Power in southern Africa critically assess the efficacy of the competition and economic regulation frameworks, including the impact of a number of the regional competition authorities in a range of sectors throughout southern Africa. Featuring academics as well as practitioners in the field, the book addresses issues common to southern African countries, where markets are small and concentrated, with particularly high barriers to entry, and where the resources to enforce legislation against anti-competitive conduct are limited. What is needed, the contributors argue, is an understanding of competition and regional integration as part of an inclusive growth agenda for Africa. By examining competition and regulation in a single framework, and viewing this within the southern African experience, this volume adds new perspectives to the global competition literature. It is an essential reference tool and will be of great interest to policymakers and regulators, as well as the rapidly growing ecosystem of legal practitioners and economists engaged in the field.