Kenya’s Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA) celebrated the World Anti-Counterfeit Day on June 7, 2011 with activities aimed at creating awareness of the social and economic consequences of counterfeited and pirated goods.
The observance, which was attended by approximately 150 people, included a procession from the Nyayo House toward the City Council and throughout the local streets. Assistant Minister for Industrialization, the Honorable Ndiritu Muriithi, flagged off the event which was joined by several heads of ACA constituent agencies such as Kenya Bureau of Standards’ CEO, Mr. Joseph Kosgey and representatives of private sector companies such as Agrochemicals Association of Kenya, Toyota, Crown Berger and Sara Lee. Ministry officials and officers from other government departments were also present.
The Prisons Band, leading the procession, attracted people on the streets and those in nearby buildings who were, naturally, curious about the parade and were greeted by large banners that sent clear messages about the dangers of counterfeits. The marchers made their way to Moi Avenue where many shops and stalls sell suspected counterfeit electronic goods. The procession then joined Haile Selassie Avenue and continued onto Uhuru Park,where symbolic counterfeit goods were set ablaze by the Honorable Assistant Minister Muriithi. Mr. Mallowah, the ACA Executive Director, made a few remarks and welcomed Mr. Muriithi who made a speech reiterating the importance of combating counterfeits to ensure that Kenya’s dream of becoming a middle-income economy by the year 2030 is not derailed.
The event closed with a luncheon at the Intercontinental Hotel, with speeches from various dignitaries including Betty Maina of Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), Mr. Briette, Head of Delegation of the European Union, and AGN Kamau, ACA Chairman. All speakers stressed the need to work together to fight counterfeiting and its negative impact on the economy.
ACA is currently working on a public awareness campaign, and used an adapted version of the BASCAP public awareness toolkit "I Buy Real" for World Anti-Counterfeit Day. The Fakes Cost More - I Buy Real campaign was highlighted in their program of activities - http://ibuyreal.org/kenya.html.