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Promoting Inter-agency Collaboration in the fight Trade in Counterfeits

A meeting on promotion of interagency collaboration in the fight against counterfeit goods was held in Nairobi on the 22nd January 2018. Organized by the Anti-Counterfeit Agency, the meeting was designed specifically for national government enforcement agencies dealing with the fight against counterfeits and protection of intellectual property in the country.

The objective of this meeting was to discuss an interagency framework for collaboration in the fight against counterfeits and further strengthen existing collaboration and coordination. It came up with a National Action plan on key thematic areas of Enforcement, Awareness, Research and Training.

The Executive Director of the Anti-Counterfeit Agency, Mr. Elema Halake in his opening speech highlighted that ‘critical partnership is a top priority and strategic agenda in the war against counterfeits in the country. I would like to emphasize here that multi – agency involvement; intensive and joint collaboration and genuine commitment need to be strengthened.”

Present were representatives from the Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards, Energy Regulation Commission, Pharmacy and Poisons Board, Kenya Industrial Property Institute, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services, the National Authority for Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse and Kenya Copyright Board. ACA presented on the current state in the fight against against counterfeits and the current inter-agency framework of collaboration. This was followed by a discussion which shall form the way forward.

The meeting followed a presidential directive to government institutions involved in the fight against counterfeits goods to destroy counterfeit goods upon seizure. Protection of Intellectual property will contribute highly towards achieving targets and goals based on the Big Four Agenda of manufacturing, affordable housing, healthcare and food. The ultimate goal is the growth of the manufacturing sector, a key industrialization driver in the achievement of Kenya’s Vision 2030.

With increased Inter-agency cooperation in IPR enforcement, the agency expects improved communication and intelligence sharing between agencies by having key information flows and up-to-date knowledge sharing of the counterfeit trade dealings. This will equip daily enforcement decision-making processes. Proper coordination will also avoid overlaps in activities. Cooperation also has the potential for more easily identifying gaps in enforcement programmes and activities.

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