Kenyan industrialists launch campaign against illicit trade

Kenyan manufacturers have teamed up with anti-counterfeit agency to launch sensitization program to combat counterfeiting and other forms of illicit trade in the country.

The program by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) and the Anti-Counterfeit Authority (ACA) will also sensitize law enforcement agencies on the issue.

KAM chief executive, Phyllis Wakiaga, noted that despite efforts being made to combat it, Kenya is experiencing a heightened level of illicit trade.

“The vice has grown to great proportions in recent years, threatening our economy and the realization of a number of the country’s development goals, including the Big 4 Agenda,” Wakiga said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

She said the industrialists will continue to work closely with both national and county governments in order to address the menace of illicit trade which threatens the health and safety of all citizens, undermines national and regional security, destabilizes economies and increases the cost of public health. Illicit trade also sabotages tourism, stunts innovation, and offers a haven to organized crime and trafficking.

The first forum which was held in Busia on Friday is the first of a series of engagements planned to sensitize law enforcement agencies on denormalizing illicit trade.

Deputy director of ACA John Akoten reiterated the importance of sustaining the fight against illicit trade.

“We are on the right track on this issue as a country. It is incumbent upon us as citizens, stakeholders and partners in our nation’s development to meet this challenge head-on, sure-footed with conviction and clarity,” said Akoten.

Jacob Narengo, Busia County Commissioner said the fight against illicit trade calls for collaboration among all enforcement agencies.

Narengo said no single entity can effectively enforce anti-counterfeiting measures within and across national boundaries.

“Collaboration will increase our gains in this fight as we work towards growing our economies and having a safe, healthy population,” he said.

Source Xinhua