The Competition Authority will on Wednesday 10th April 2019 host the National Competition Symposium which will be held at Avani Hotel in Gaborone. This symposium which will be divided into three sessions will be headlined by a panel discussion which will discuss one of the contemporary major economic concerns of an emerging economy; how vertical integration impacts economic growth.

The panel discussion is held as the lead activity of a number of seminary activities that are part of the 2019 Competition Symposium whose aim is to highlight issues of competition and how competition can assist in making critical socio-economic transformations. The general theme of the Symposium is An Integrated Business and Competition.

This theme is relevant as it compels us to look into the economic realities of our day, where more and more businesses are integrating new services and products along the value chain. This has given rise to a number of disruptions in the way trade has been conducted. While some enterprises have become profitable, others have found the going tough and have exited the market. Is vertical integration shrinking the size of the market or making it more competitive and accessible to more players?

In the second session there will be an equally important presentation on whether state enterprises enhance economic growth or they are a hindrance.The last session of the symposium will focus on the Authority’s preparedness to transform into the Competition and Consumer Authority. In the fullness of time, the Authority is expected to implement the Consumer Protection Act in addition to the Competition Act. The new act has a number of provisions that seem to have excited a number of consumer groups in the country. Is the Authority ready to take on this new assignment that seems set to take consumer rights issues to a new level?