Africans unhappy with poor public utilities regulation - Report

Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- Competition regimes and the quality of the regulation of basic services like water, electricity and telephone in Africa are generally not good enough to meaningfully enhance consumer protection on the continent, said a just-released report.
The Consumer Protection and Quality of life in Africa Through Competition and Regulation: 2004 Report released by the Accra-based Consumers International Africa Office is the second by Consumers International after the one published in 2002, CI said in a release Wednesday.
It looked at the relationship between competitive markets and consumer protection in Africa and the potential of competition policy and regulation to improve consumer welfare and quality of life.
The report analysed the perceptions of African consumers regarding the effectiveness of national competition policy and evaluated consumer perceptions of the quality of services offered by public utilities particularly in the water, electricity and telephone sectors.
Overall, the findings revealed that African consumers view existing regulation efforts as inadequate.
African Consumers are generally not happy with the way water, electricity and telephone services are currently being regulated all over the continent.
Also, the surveys revealed that consumer organisations are rarely consulted by, and do not participate in, national competition commissions.
An expert team of prominent economists and a lawyer was commissioned to come up with the report which includes the African Consumer Protection Index (ACPI), a tool that provides a comparative measure of the effectiveness of consumer protection policies across different countries.
Twenty African consumer organisations were involved in the research in which questionnaires were sent to four stakeholder groups: individual consumers, consumer organisations, regulation agencies and competition commissions.

23 نوفمبر 2005 16:09:00

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