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Kenya secures U.S. 1.5 million dollars to boost anti-counterfeit war

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s anti-counterfeit agency on Monday signed a new financing agreement totalling worth 1.5 million U.S. dollars with the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to boost the war against sub-standard goods through enhanced verification and tracking.

The funding which will be channeled through Nairobi based regional trade facilitation agency, Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA), will support digitization of key operations at the anti-counterfeit agency alongside capacity building and public awareness aimed at tackling the influx of contraband goods in Kenya.

“We have witnessed an increase in the volume of counterfeit goods flooding the market while modern technology, law enforcement and public education is a giant step in containing this menace,” said Flora Mutahi, the Chairperson of Anti-Counterfeit Agency.

She emphasized that deployment of state of the art technology at the ports of entry and other supply chains is key to boost detection of contraband goods and prosecute the culprits.

The East African nation loses an estimated 8 million dollars annually through influx of counterfeit and sub-standard goods that are detrimental to fair trade, human health and national security.

The new funding to support installation of ICT based solutions at ports of entry will boost detection, tracking and reporting of counterfeits while safeguarding ownership of patents.

Ahmed Farah, TMEA Kenya Country Program Director, said technology led interventions that underpins the new financing, are critical to revolutionize the fight against counterfeits that are drawback to Kenya’s economic growth.

“The overall aim of this project and intervention is to take the necessary steps to mitigate and eliminate counterfeiting and to subsequently create an attractive and conducive trade environment for business to flourish,” said Farah.

“This automation is in line with the East Africa government’s trade facilitation initiatives that reduce barriers to trade,” he added.

Ian Mills, the Head of Sustainable Economic Development at UKAID, said automation coupled with enhanced inter-agency coordination is key to arrest the soaring menace of counterfeit goods flooding the Kenyan market. 


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