The COMESA Competition Commission (CCC) has this year launched a business reporters’ competition that is aimed at instilling a culture in media houses to regularly report, publicize quality and accurate stories about competition and consumer protection matters.
According to Meti Demissie Disasa Registrar COMESA Competition Commission, the Commission has since 2014 been conducting annual engagements with the business reporters operating in the Common Market and has made strides to create awareness and raise knowledge of participating business reporters on competition and consumer protection policies.
However, it has noticed that overall, there still needs to improve the level of appreciation of the competition and consumer protection issues by the media fraternity and the public in the COMESA region.
“Lack of adequate comprehension of the issues limits their efforts to publicize the Commission`s work on these issues.
“In this regard, we intend to continue with the engagement to enhance their understanding of the role of competition in a market economy, and how they can best participate in the building of competitive markets in the Common Market.
“Further, we wish to instil a culture in the media houses of regularly publicizing quality and accurate competition and consumer protection matters,” said Disasa in a press release sent to The Reporters News Uganda.
Disasa added that the competition is intended to enhance identification and reporting of anti-competitive business practices as well as consumer rights violations in the COMESA region and also increase in the number of news articles on competition and consumer protection in the Common market and to enhance stakeholders` understanding of the need for competitive markets.
“The writing competition will encompass recognizing well written articles, in any of the Official languages of COMESA (Arabic, English and French), on competition and consumer protection matters for the period starting 6 June 2023 to 5 June 2024.
“The articles will be collected, analyzed and subjected to a panel of judges who will select writers of the best articles for the award.
“At the end of the period, the Commission will award the best two (2) journalists with a medal and a cash prize of USD 1500 for the winner and USD 1000 to the second best.
“The Commission will be open to receiving submissions from 6 March 2024 to 10 June 2024. No submissions shall be allowed before or after the submission period,” said Disasa.
Disasa said the basic evaluation criteria for the awards will be based on consistency in writing COMESA Competition and/or Consumer protection issues with at least three published articles, writing of quality, accurate and relevant perspectives, ingenuity to provide relevant real-life examples, implications to the market or consumers to attract readership and originality, properly referenced with reliable sources and expert’s inputs.
Disasa said articles must respond to the topical areas provided by the Commission where the candidate must demonstrate a clear understanding of the COMESA topic and clearly link his/her article to the COMESA Competition Regulations and Commission.
“The more such articles the better the score. Qualifying candidates must submit a minimum of three articles, must meet the journalism and publication standards with accurate and relevant perspectives, encompass right literary style with excellent grammar, free of spelling errors and cohesive,” added Disasa.
Articles should carry a minimum of 400 words in a newspaper or magazine or digital platform with national reach of about 5,000 readers. It must be original, unpublished work with original thinking relative to the subject and properly referenced with reliable sources.
Disasa said they want business reporters to investigate and write about competition law, Trade and Development, the effects of cartels to price, production, competition, and efficient operations of the COMESA Free Trade Area, Danger posed by unnotified cross-border mergers, Consumer challenges in the digital era, Consumer protection needs in the green revolution movement, Protecting consumers from unsafe cross border products and implication of excessive pricing by dominant firms.
BY PAUL TENTENA