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