Malawi celebrates World Consumer Rights Day


The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) is today leading consumers and traders in the country in celebrating this year’s World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD), under the theme “Fair Digital Finance”.

The theme, which is also this year’s international theme, highlights the growing importance of digital finance.

In a statement, CFTC Acting Executive Director Apoche Itimu said digital technologies are reshaping payments, lending, insurance, and wealth management everywhere, and becoming a key enabler for consumers of financial services.

She said studies have shown that in the developing world, the proportion of account owners sending and receiving payments digitally has grown from 57% in 2014 to 70% in 2017 and that by 2024, digital banking consumers are expected to exceed 3.6 billion.

“Although there has been considerable increase in the access to digital finance, consumers in the country are still experiencing a number of challenges on the market. These include high transaction costs, fraud and financial scams, service downtime, and information asymmetries between consumers and service providers,” said Itimu.

During the week beginning 14 March, 2022, the CFTC will conduct a number of activities aimed at raising awareness about consumer rights specifically on digital finance.

The activities will include radio programmes, market inspections, and road shows. The activities also include consumer surgeries where consumers and traders will be able to lodge complaints to the Commission.

The WCRD falls on 15th March every year and is an annual occasion for celebration and solidarity within the international consumer movement. Participants observe the day by promoting the basic rights of all consumers and demanding that those rights are respected and protected.

Historically, on March 15, 1962, President John F. Kennedy presented a speech to the United States Congress in which he extolled four basic consumer rights, later called the Consumer Bill of Rights. The United Nations through the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection expanded these to eight rights, and thereafter Consumers International adopted these rights as a charter and started recognizing March 15 as World Consumer Rights Day.