The ECOWAS Commission has announced the appointment of Mrs. Henrietta Uzoamaka Didigu, as the first Executive Director of the ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority (ERCA).According to a statement by the ECOWAS Commission on Monday in Abuja, the appointment, which is at the instance of the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, is for an interim period of 12 months, allowing the appointee to undertake crucial establishment activities that would lead to the full operationalization of ERCA in the shortest possible time.
Prior to her appointment, Didigu, was the Technical Adviser on Institutional Reform to the President of the Commission.
She brings on board, over 28 years’ experience in regional integration and chaired, during the period, numerous high level negotiation missions, meetings and projects for country and region.
Before joining the Commission in 2000, Didigu, who holds a Master’s Degree in Law (LLM) from the prestigious Duke University of Law, North Carolina, U.S.A, having earlier graduated from Nigeria’s elite Ivory Tower, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, worked with the Nigerian Ministry of Justice, where she rose to the position Assistant Director.
In a period spanning 19 years at the ministry, she was involved in international negotiations, including the process that led to the adoption of the model Competition Rules for the Commonwealth of Nations.
Previously, she held various strategic level positions in the Commission, including Acting Director of the Legal Affairs Department for four years during which she was involved in the conceptual stages of the ECOWAS Regional Competition Policy Framework as well as in the drafting of the legal documents for the establishment of the regional Competition Authority.
Didigu also served as Acting Director of the Humanitarian and Social Affairs Department. One of her notable missions for the Community was as the legal adviser to the 2003 Liberian Peace Talks under the leadership of the former Nigerian Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar. The peace talks ended the country’s civil war in 2003 and restored democratic governance to Liberia.
Based in Banjul, The Gambia, ERCA was established in 2008, subject to the approval of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS to implement the ECOWAS Regional Competition Rules in aid of regional economic growth, consumer welfare and social stability through the promotion of competition and efficiency amongst enterprises within the ECOWAS common market.