Botswana to host consumer protection dialogue

Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- Consumers International Africa Office (CI-ROAF), consumer organisations and relevant Government agencies in the continent will hold a five-day regional dialogue on "Promoting consumer protection policies" from 7-11 February in Gaborone, Botswana.
Since the inception of CI-ROAF a decade ago, consumer groups and government agencies have been collaborating and holding direct talks, representation and forming common delegations to regional and international fora.
The collaboration between consumer groups, government agencies and, to some extent, the business sector, "has resulted in the improvement of consumer awareness and increased respect for consumers' rights and responsibilities," says a news release received by PANA in Dakar.
"However, many more issues need to be tackled more frequently and in a more structured manner.
It is in the interest of consumer groups and government agencies to engage in sustained, constructive and structured exchanges and collaboration through a regional dialogue," said the Harare-based CI-ROAF.
The meeting aims to promote dialogue, information sharing and strengthen existing relationships between government agencies and consumer organisations "while exploring future strategies to promote dialogue on consumer protection in Africa.
" It will also seek to bridge the gap between the various stakeholders working on consumer protection; identify roles and responsibilities for each group of stakeholder and develop tools and long-lasting mechanisms of collaboration on consumer protection The forthcoming dialogue will seek to review models of cooperation between government agencies and consumer organisations, "as well as the instruments that have been developed to date and their impact on consumers.
" It will also re-examine strategies and the way forward for an enhanced cooperation between government and consumer organisations.
Participants from governments, consumer organisations, journalists, the United Nations, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the European Union (EU) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) will attend the dialogue.
The dialogue will coincide with CI-ROAF's awards ceremony of the first edition of the African Consumer Journalist Kalam Awards.
Its objective is to celebrate excellence in African consumer journalism and reward outstanding reporting on consumer issues by African journalists.

02 february 2005 18:25:00

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