Anti-Counterfeit Agency tightens war on fake goods with five-year plan

 

Nairobi….The Anti-Counterfeit Agency has today committed to strengthen market intelligence, boost internal capacity and enforcement role with launch of its second strategic plan in war against fake products in the market.

 

Over the next five years, the agency plans to increase its geographical spread and capacity building, pursue strategic linkages and alliances with other law enforcement agencies as well diversify public outreach programs.

 

To inform policy, enforcement and awareness decisions, the Agency plans to strengthen its Market Research capacity as a strategic objective.

 

The newly appointed ACA Executive Director, Elema Halake affirmed the need to strengthen Institutional Capacity in line with market demand and trends.

 

“The second strategic plan sets us on a path to build on the progress that we have made over the past five years under our 2011-2016 Strategic Plan. It will infuse fresh dynamism into Kenya’s war against counterfeits,” said Mr. Halake.

 

Over the last five years, counterfeit goods worth Ksh 880 Million has been seized with Goods worth Ksh 520 Million destroyed for concluded cases.

 

So far, the agency made close to 700 arrests across the country, seized counterfeit goods worth in excess of KSH1.6 Billion and destroyed counterfeit goods of approximately KSH 700 million.

 

Over the next two months, ACA will roll out a digital enforcement case management system to help track and manage cases on counterfeits.

 

“This Strategic plan gives us the tools we need to succeed in a rapidly changing environment and will ensures that our law enforcement mandate remains relevant to the people it serves,” said ACA Broad Chairman, Mr. Pradeep Paunrana.

 

A joint report on the state of counterfeiting in the East African Region dubbed ‘The East African Community (EAC) IPR Regime, conducted early this year by ACA and Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has recommended need for development of autonomous national IP offices, raise awareness on IPRS and illicit trade.

 

Similarly the report stresses the creation of alternate dispute resolutions mechanism to resolves IPR disputes.

 

To fast track regional war against illicit trade in East Africa, it calls for harmonization of different state IP laws and development of a common trade mark.

 

Ministry of Investment and Industry, Principal Secretary, Patrick Nduati Mwangi said Kenya now has legal and institutional preparedness to address theft of Intellectual property rights with ACA as the coordinating Agency in the enforcement of IP protection.

 

“We know we have a critical role to play in powering trade in this country. We are committed to spurring innovation by having an Intellectual Property-friendly environment,” said Mwangi.

 

The PS said these new developments will play a big role in stabilizing the economy and stimulating economic growth.

 

Under the five-year plan, ACA will strengthen its human capital capacity, finance and infrastructure.

 

“More than ever before, we seek to secure for this agency a sustainable funding model from the government and stakeholders to support war on counterfiets,” said Mr. Halake.

 

ACA has so far trained and sensitized 116 officers involved in criminal justice system including judges, Magistrates and Prosecutors from the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.

 

Another, over1000 officers from our enforcing Agencies like Kenya Police, KEBS, KRA, KEPHIS in all major towns and entry points on issues of intellectual property protection have also been trained on capacity building.

 

ACA has hosted 26 County sensitizations and partnership forums across the country including Turkana, Marsabit, Kisumu, Trans Nzoia, West Pokot, UasinGishu, Nandi, Baringo and Elgeyo Marakwet.

 

…..Ends.