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Analysis of the Competition Bill 2022 and the state of competition regulation in Uganda

By Paul Mbuga

The government of Uganda tabled the Competition Bill 2022 before parliament in December 2022, marking what has been a long-awaited initiative by the state to finally translate years of both policy and political positioning on the regulation of competition into actual legislation.

While Uganda has never had a national competition law, the regulation of competition has been applied on a sector-specific basis and the approach of sector regulators has been considerably fragmented.

Following on from the National Competition and Consumer Protection Policy 2014, the Competition Bill deals with four main groups of behaviour: horizontal arrangements (mainly arrangements between firms to maintain and control prices), vertical arrangements (including exclusive dealing, resale price maintenance, geographical limitations on activities and tied dealing), misuse of market power by monopolies and large firms and control of mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures to ensure that they do not impair overall competitive conditions in the market.

The Competition Bill is currently being examined by parliament’s sectoral committee on tourism, trade and industry. Our guidance note on the Bill assesses the current state of competition regulation in Uganda, highlights the major provisions of the Bill and analyses the key conceptual themes arising out of the current draft of the Bill.