Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has today launched the EAC Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Regime Study which aims to enhance regional protection of IPRs, as a contributor to achieving the industrialization agenda.
Speaking during the Launch, the State Department of Industry Principal Secretary, Mr. Patrick Nduati noted that clear policies and strategies play a key role in driving industrialization, job creation and protecting local industries.
“The government’s agenda of industrialization can be achieved if we have an environment that protects Intellectual Property Rights. Most challenges caused by illegitimate trade are felt by economies that are still developing. Our partnerships, between government and the private sector remain the determinate on how successful our fight against counterfeits will be,” added PS Nduati.
KAM has been a key stakeholder in championing the war against counterfeiting in Kenya by supporting the Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA) as well as promoting EAC regional integration through the Association’s vigorous advocacy work.
Speaking during the launch, KAM Chief Executive, Ms. Phyllis Wakiaga noted that illicit trade affects manufacturing value-add industries in Kenya and the EAC, erodes the market share of genuine manufactured products, threatens expansion and survival of industries and hampers creation of job opportunities.
“It is against this backdrop that the KAM initiated the study on the status of intellectual property rights (IPRs) within the EAC with a view of identifying gaps and recommending the best practices to eliminate illicit trade and counterfeiting activities in the region,” added Ms. Wakiaga.
ACA Executive Director, Mr. Elema Halake, noted that the Agency is working together with other organisations to win Kenya’s fight on counterfeits.
“The Agency’s second strategic plan aims to strengthen our fight against counterfeits. Rich legal and policy frameworks and public awareness play a key role in pushing our agenda, in turn, creating a globally competitive industry,” added Mr. Halake.
As industry, we aspire to have in place a regulatory policy framework that addresses counterfeits and intellectual property rights in the country and at the EAC level.