Government commences inter-agency sensitization on fight against counterfeit goods

 

The government has called for concerted effort in the fight against counterfeit goods in the country.

Chief Administrative Secretary Trade, Industry and Enterprise Development Lawrence Karanja says the fight cannot solely be left to one agency.

Speaking in Nakuru on Monday during Nakuru County Security and Business Committee sensitization forum on the same the CAS noted that if not addressed counterfeit trade will erode the economy.

This even as he revealed that Nakuru County as per survey carried out last year is ranked number two after Nairobi in matters illicit and counterfeit goods.

He however noted that the ongoing sensitization of counties in counterfeit goods will go a long way in addressing the challenges faced by economy due to the illicit trade.

“We all have are responsibility in the war on counterfeit goods and that is why we have the sensitization forums” he said.

As per Survey, 13 percent of the country’s GDP was on counterfeit goods and the CAS notes that allowing illicit trade3 to continue means several sectors will be killed or stagnated.

It should be noted that almost all sectors in the country are affected by counterfeit goods as well as illicit trade.

In addition, it has emerged that Counterfeit business operators are highly funding criminal activities, gangs with hotspot counties being Nairobi, Mombasa, Nyeri among others with Nakuru being ranked at number five.

The CAS however assuring members of the public that the government is working closely with surveillance officer to address the issue of counterfeit goods at  the entry points.

“The war on counterfeit goods is not targeting certain groups as public may purport. We will work closely with all agencies in the flight. Strengthened agencies and coordination is key in the whole fight against counterfeit products” he said.

Sentiments echoed by Chair Anti Counterfeit Authority Flora Mutahi.

Mutahi who is also the immediate chair Kenya Association of Manufacturers noting that constant collaboration is key in the fight against counterfeit goods.

While noting that illicit trade is killing the country’s economy, the ACA Chair also called on local Manufacturers to team up in order to wipe out the vice.

“As local manufacturers we need also to work together to wipe out this. The importance of trainings on awareness is key in the fight against counterfeit” She said.

The ceremony was also attended by Nakuru County CECM Trade, Marketing and Tourism Raymond Komen who called on the national government to ensure counties are equipped.

He also appealed for the need for consumer protection in counties and nation as a whole.