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Analysis of the Uganda Competition Act 2023 and the Anticipated Sector Impact

By Paul Mbuga and Winnie Awino

Uganda’s parliament passed the Competition Act 2023 on 1 September 2023, with the legislation subsequently receiving presidential assent on 2 February 2024.

In our earlier guidance note that was published on 27 January 2023, we noted that the government of Uganda has finally translated years of both policy and political positioning on the regulation of competition into actual legislation. The Competition Act follows on from the Ministry of Trade’s National Trade Policy 2007 and the National Competition and Consumer Protection Policy 2014, which documented the government’s desire to formulate and implement competition legislation for the management of the country’s liberal economy.

In this note, we provide the key highlights of the Competition Act and assess its impact on certain commercial transactions and business models. For a start, it is useful to note that the implementation of the Competition Act will depend, firstly, on the establishment of governance structures in the Ministry of Trade (no independent statutory agency is to be established) and, secondly, on the passing by the Ministry of Trade of the regulations required to effect several operational aspects of the Act.