How does competition law enforcement contribute to economic welfare in Mauritius? This was the question that grade 12 secondary students had to address in the Essay Contest 2024 organised by the Competition Commission.  The contest aimed at raising awareness among the youths, who are tomorrow’s business leaders and policy makers, on the importance and societal benefits of enforcing competition law to shape the competitive market landscape.

More than 100 students, along with their teachers who acted as facilitators/mentors,  participated in the contest from about 34 state and private secondary schools. The 10 shortlisted essays were presented by the finalists at the award ceremony held on Wednesday 12th June 2024, at the Lecture Theatre 1, University of Mauritius.

The Competition Commission’s Essay Contest 2024 Award ceremony was marked by the presence of the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Protection, the Honourable Dr (Mrs.) Marie Christiane Dorine Chukowry. In her speech, the Honourable Minister expressed her delight to be among the students and commended the students for their good work.  She indicated that the research and recommendations of the students were very pertinent and ensured that these are, to extent possible, incorporated in policymaking decisions of her ministry.

In his address, the Executive Director of the Competition Commission, Mr. Deshmuk Kowlessur, expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the essay contest by the students.   He applauded the participants for their interest and hard work to understand the intricacies of competition law and interface with economics concepts learned at school. He indicated that the Competition Commission’s essay contest will become an annual event and will henceforth target both secondary and tertiary students.  He also indicated forthcoming collaboration with academic institutions to foster research for evidence-based policymaking.

On the occasion, Professor Pierre Régibeau, a former chief economist for DG competition at European Commission, was invited to deliver a guest speech.  Professor Regibeau shared his valuable insights on competition law enforcement and importance for Mauritius to have an effective and business friendly competition regime.  He highlighted on the importance of the work of Competition Commission in small economy like Mauritius where several markets are characterized by high degree of concentration and cross-shareholding.   He also stressed on the benefit of introducing a mandatory merger notification.

The finalists, on their part, delivered brilliant presentations on economic benefits of competition law enforcement.  They highlighted  notable cases handled by the Competition Commission covering the various sectors, including retail and distribution, property development, construction and pharmaceutical. They emphasized how competition law enforcement, through these cases, contributed to restoring competition in the market and thus benefiting consumers in terms of price, innovation and choice.

The 5 winners were announced by the Jury Panel, Professor Katharine Rockett from the Essex University, Associate Professor Sunil Bundoo from the University of Mauritius, and Mr Mosadeq Sahebdin.

All participating students and their mentors were awarded certification of participation and each of the 10 finalists received a Shield.  In addition, the 5 winners were awarded cash prizes as follows:

1st  prize:  Antoine Melanie Rachel, Forest-Side SSS girls – Rs 25,000

2nd prize :  Dusoye Nakul Kumar Varma, Royal College Port Louis – Rs 15,000

3rd  prize: Narain Loushina, Royal College Port Louis – Rs10,000

4th prize: Dursun Priyamvada, Rabindranath Tagore SS – Rs 5,000/-

5th prize: Hossamdee Bibi Sakinah, Dr Maurice Curé SC – Rs 5,000

The Competition Commission wishes to thank all the collaborators, in particular the Ministry of Commerce and Consumer Protection; the Ministry of Education, Tertiary Education, Science and Technology; and all the participating secondary schools.