Minister of Industry and Trade Joseph Mwanamvekha said government is committed in preserving, promoting and protecting consumer’s rights, saying measures have been put in place to protect the consumers’ rights.
Mwanamvekha said customers are key stakeholders in development of any country because if they cannot buy goods or services it means that will be the end of business of any kind.
He was speaking in Lilongwe this week when he officially opened the Sixth Annual African Consumer Protection Dialogue Conference.
“Safeguarding of consumer rights remains at the heart of our enforcement efforts (and that) it is important to note that the responsibility of consumer protection cannot be left to the Government alone. There is need for concerted effort by the Government, public institutions, the private sector and civil society to ensure that consumers are adequately protected from unfair trading practices,” said Mwanamvekha.
The Minister said government is aware of the challenges of consumer exploitation, hence the enacting of the Consumer Protection Act in 2003.
“This Act elaborates the rights that consumers have and the responsibility that every Malawian has towards the protection of the rights of consumers.
“For the problem of consumer exploitation to be history in Malawi, there is need for coordinated efforts from various stakeholders such as the civil society organisations, government and development partners,” he said.
Mwanamvekha said there is need to deal with counterfeit products that many African countries are grappling with.
The conference was hosted by Malawi by the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC).
Chairperson of CFTC, Gerald Chigona, said globalisation and increased trends of cross-border trade in the past years has provided a breeding ground for cross-border violations of consumer interests.