Mr. Wang’ombe Kariuki, the Competition Authority of Kenya’s Director-General, has been appointed to the World Bank’s Advisory Panel. The key deliverable is advising on the World Development Report (WDR) 2021.
The Director-General will be part of distinguished thought leaders from across the globe contributing to the seminal annual publication which will be themed Data for Better Lives.
The WDR, which has been produced since 1978, provides in-depth analysis and policy recommendations on important aspects of development and serves as a reference point for, among others, policy makers, governments, civil societies, scholars, and multilateral organizations.
The upcoming report will among others, focus on opportunities and challenges of data to improve the lives of poor people in low- and middle-income countries while trying to find a balance between data’s potential to improve lives and the risk of misuse.
Further, the WDR 2021 will seek to establish cases where data collection by private entities has been used for the good of society and also propose data governance and policy reforms needed for less developed countries to benefit from the data economy.
The report shall also reflect on the data value chain, including data creation and collection, processing, sharing, securing access, archiving, and destruction, and harnessing it to facilitate more people participate in the digital economy and enjoy the benefits of a data-driven society.
“The appointment takes cognizance of the fact that competition law enforcement has a role to play in poverty alleviation and that data is a highly prized asset among companies which can be leveraged for development or socio-economic harm, said Mr. Kariuki.
“Private firms may use data to deter entry of upcoming firms, thereby limiting or preventing competition to the detriment of consumers, specifically eroding their purchasing power and choice.”
Past reports covered topics such as poverty, agriculture, gender, the role of state, transition economies, governance, infrastructure, health, and trade.
Mr. Kariuki has an MSc in Competition and Economic Regulation from City University, London. He has served on the COMESA Competition Commission Board and is a founder member and first chairman of the African Competition Forum (ACF).
He has also served as a commissioner in the East African Community Competition Authority.
His main interests are in competition regulation and economics of institutions and development, currently focusing on the digital economy and platforms business. He is a distinguished authority in the competition enforcement world for his advocacy efforts and other initiatives geared towards developing and modernizing various competition regimes.
PS: The World Development Report 2021: Data for Better Lives can be accessed via the link: https://www.worldbank.org/en/publication/wdr2021