Kenya, Uganda join hands to fight counterfeits

Kenyan counterfeit Authority officials sign an MOU with Directors of the Anti- Counterfeit Network - Africa.

What you need to know:

  • The World Economic Forum estimates that illicit trade presently deprives the global economy of $2.2 trillion annually.

In an effort to fight counterfeits in the East African region, the Anti-Counterfeit Authority of Kenya (ACA) and Uganda’s Anti-Counterfeit Network (ACN Africa) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). 

The agreement signed on April 20, 2023, in Kenya’s capital Nairobi aims at strengthening strategic collaboration on matters pertaining elimination of fake goods in East Africa.

Worldwide, the World Economic Forum estimates that illicit trade presently deprives the global economy of $2.2 trillion annually, accounting for nearly three per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP).

Whilst the ACN revealed that Uganda loses up to Ugandan Shs6 trillion to counterfeits and substandard products every year,  a 2018  ACA survey showed the value of counterfeit trade to be close to Kenyan Sh100billion in revenue in 2018, a figure economist say could be more and increasing each year.

ACA Executive Director Dr Robi Mbugua Njoroge Thursday said “the MoU represents a statement of mutual intentions between our two institutions- focusing on developing and strengthening a robust Intellectual Property (IP) system in the region.”

Dr Mbugua added that the ACA is mandated by Kenyan law to partner with national and international institutions on matters dealing with counterfeiting.

“We look forward to being strategic partners and leading advocates on legislative and regulatory issues addressing Intellectual Property (IP) infringement not in in Kenya but in the region,” he noted.   

ACN Africa’s director for strategy Kawesa Richard welcomed the initiative between the two nations saying “combating counterfeits in the region requires collaborative leadership and action.” 

Kawesa highlighted that “collaborative leadership would mean that individual ambitions of every mandate-holder or stakeholder in the IP value chain recognizes common risks, limitations and implications and seeks to work together to mitigate collective threats, increase opportunities and share best practices.”

Emphasizing the importance of partnership across the region, Fred Muwema, the Director Legal at ACN Africa said: “ACA and ACN Africa deeply appreciate the magnitude of the counterfeit challenge at hand and have therefore agreed to cooperate in the areas of research, legal action, technology and communication for mindset change.”