CUTS with the support from the Capacity Building for Private Sector Development (CBPSD) is implementing a six months on raising awareness at grassroots on competition policy and consumer protection issues in Zambia. The objective of the project to establish the missing link between competition enforcement on one hand, and achieving desirable impacts for common Zambian consumers, on the other. It is also envisaged that the project will enhance the capacity of consumers to for the to better comprehend consumer protection and competition policy issues and engage with policy makers to facilitate policy reforms
The project aim
- Increase awareness and understanding among various stakeholders especially the consumers at grassroots level on the relevance of competition for consumers
- Empower consumers with information about their rights and how they can mobilize others to generate advocacy responses that would help address their challenges and needs
- Strengthen the capacity of consumer groups to take up action research and advocacy on regulatory and policy issues
This research will involve collating evidences from across Zambia, of how anti-competitive practices affect consumers. Case studies would be collected from the ground of how such practices by firms affect access, choice, prices and quality of products and services for poor consumers. The output of the research will be collated into a monograph on competition and consumer welfare.
Awareness generation workshops
These workshops would be organised in four districts across Zambia and target consumers/groups at grassroots to develop their understanding on effects from anti-competitive practices on the poor. Real examples would be used to demonstrate the effects of such practices on poor consumers, and to mobilise them to act as ‘watch-dogs’ of similar violations so that they could act as extended hands of the regulatory authorities, and inform them of such violations. Efforts would be made to use tools like drama, etc. to demonstrate the effects to poor consumers. Local experts on competition and consumer welfare would be engaged to facilitate these workshops, etc.
- A regular newsletter on Consumer issues
- Briefing papers in local languages
- Posters and fliers in English and local languages
- Brochures (both in English and local languages)
- TV Quiz on consumer and competition issues
- Newspaper Articles on competition and consumer issues
- Engagement of the media throughout the project to benefit from the workshops and also cover them to build up a national campaign.