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HP holds anti-counterfeiting conference to raise awareness in Africa

April 8, 2014

Johannesburg

Johannesburg

Anti-Counterfeiting Africa Conference held over two days in Johannesburg to “educate and empower” organisations in the region against negative effects of counterfeits.

Allafrica.com reported that the two-day conference hosted by HP came as the OEM continues to tackle the problem of counterfeit products threatening industries in Africa; with the article noting that “sometimes people don’t really understand the real concept of counterfeit goods” despite Africa “increasingly being targeted as a market for counterfeit merchandise” and used as a “transit route” for such goods.

However, Fabrice Campoy, Director of HP’s Printing and Personal Systems Africa, said that African nations are becoming more aware of the challenges counterfeit trade brings “and becoming active in the fight against it”; with government officials, law enforcers and representatives of ministries responsible for anti-counterfeiting all attending the conference.

HP used the event to outline ways to fight against counterfeiting and how policy makers can “toughen applicable laws and enforcement capacity across Africa” by collaborating with the HP Anti-Counterfeiting Programme; with Campoy explaining: “The HP Anti-counterfeiting Programme works hard to protect partners and customers, but this is only made possible through close collaboration with law enforcers around the world […]  we therefore truly appreciate the cooperation of African law enforcement in helping to make this event possible, and protect African customers from the inferior standards and potential risks of counterfeit.”

Jeff Kwasny, Brand Protection Programme Manager for HP’s Printing and Personal Systems group, added: “False goods impact businesses and global trade through lost revenue, damage to brands and the negative effects on hard-earned reputation and consumer confidence […] at the 2014 Anti-Counterfeiting Africa Conference, we have brought together those most affected by counterfeits in the region from policy makers to brands like Unilever and Nike so we can work towards tackling this criminal activity together.”

The article highlighted a report conducted by CTI called ‘Effects of Counterfeit and Substandard Goods in Tanzania’ which estimates that the country could be losing between 15 and 25 percent of its total domestic revenue through the sale of counterfeit goods. It also found that those dealing with counterfeit products are able to reap “huge profits” compared to those selling genuine products, and that there is much unemployment “caused by large imports of fake goods” as counterfeits deny “domestic industries the opportunity to expand production” and put off people investors from establishing industries in Tanzania.

Dr Samwel Nyantahe, Chairman of CTI, said: “We have agencies, laws, policies and the Fair Competition Commission (FCC), but we are yet to succeed. We want to have a specific law to address the problem.”

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