Raising awareness and understanding of the benefits of competition and consumer welfare

Many people in Zambia are not aware of their consumer rights and this situation has left them at the mercy of product and service providers who abuse them. Consumers have also been caught up in anti-competitive practices due to lack of knowledge.

It is in this regard that CUTS International is currently implementing a project to raise people’s awareness of their consumer rights and unfair trading practices across Zambia. The project is funded by Capacity Building for Private Sector Development (CBPSD). CBPSD is a programme under the European Commission (EC).

The objective of the project is to establish the ‘missing link’ between competition enforcement on one hand and achieving desirable impacts for common Zambian consumers on the other. The project will also enhance the capacity of consumers to better comprehend consumer protection and competition policy issues and engage policymakers to facilitate policy reforms.

CUTS International hopes to raise awareness of the grassroots on consumer rights, as it is hoped that with these interventions, consumers would be empowered to seek redress when they feel they are subjected to unfair trade practices.

In the course of the project, CUTS International will travel to various provinces in Zambia to conduct sensitisation workshops and organise road shows on consumer rights and competition policy. The targeted group for this project are people at the grassroots as they are the most vulnerable to infringement of their consumer rights and their vulnerability to anti-competitive practices.

CUTS International will also build and sensitise schools and engage with the media as well.

We also hope that once consumers are empowered, business firms will also work on their efficiency so that they can provide good services to consumers.

Consumers should understand that businesses that engage in anti-competitive practices impact hard on them as they might be deprived of their right to choice, information, redress or safety.

Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) International is a non-governmental organisation which works in such areas as trade and development, competition policy, investment regulation and consumer protection. CUTS Africa Resource Center (CUTS-ARC) was registered in Zambia as a non-governmental organisation in 2000. It is an affiliate of CUTS International based in India.