Arguably, Fox and Bakhoum’s Making Markets Work for Africa does more than take part in this literature, it helps bring it into focus, crystallizing its insights and articulating a number of its internal debates. Perhaps this assessment should be nuanced a bit. Despite their extensive footnotes and their admirable collaborative scholarship and drive to work from and with African sources (for instance with the Quarterly Competition Review produced by CCRED), the book is focused more on the policy problem than on the existing literature about the problem. This is not a book about books; it is a book about identifying a complex economic situation with challenges and opportunities and charting and driving a particular line in favour of a better life for Africa’s population.
The book provides illuminating insights on the contrasting historical and economic imperatives that drove the development of competition law and policy in the US, post World War II Europe and in selected countries on the African continent. The authors explain that in the US, the development of antitrust law was a response to the industrial revolution and in its wake, large enterprises. For almost a century, the US courts, interpreted antitrust law “to protect the weak from the strong.” There was a significant shift in US antitrust law under the Reagan administration “away from economic democracy and towards efficiency” as the US focused on global competitiveness and economic power.
We are proud to present this book symposium on Professor Eleanor Fox & Mor Bakhoum’s wonderful new book titled Making Markets Work for Africa: Markets, Developments, and Competition Law in Sub-Saharan Africa. This 2019 book from Oxford University Press is the most comprehensive look at the role that competition law can play in promoting economic development as well as fairness and equity in the diverse economies of Sub-Saharan Africa.