In a recent article, Mr. Omar Issa, CEO of Investment Climate Facility for Africa states that member states of the East African Community last year lost $500 million in taxes as a result of trade in counterfeits. Fake products penetrated into the local markets are not uncommon to local manufacturers, who experience the negative side effects of their top selling brands losing profit to their fake, substandard counterparts. These manufacturers blame poor oversight at ports of entry. One port in particular, Mombasa seaport, has been used by smugglers as a conduit for distributing counterfeited products from Asian markets into the neighbouring landlocked states such as Uganda, Rwanda and the DR Congo.
“Presidents of the EAC member states should accord the fight against counterfeit the first priority if we are to win the war against fake goods” said Mr Issa.
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