Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Traders in Uganda voice grave concern over counterfeits

According to the New Vision Newspaper report today attributed to the marketing manager of Dembe Enterprises, fake goods are rapidly eroding the value of genuine ones and leading to loss of jobs.

Dembe Enterprises is one of Uganda's leading local distributors for well known brands such as as Kellogs and Heinz. According to the manager, counterfeit goods "...have depressed suppliers of genuine products, sending them into financial constriction". The lonely voice of Mr. Patel on this matter echoes that of many more distributors in the region who are struggling with falling profits. His call is for "every legitimate business player to be more responsible for the financial and quality interests of his company".

Whereas individual enterprises in more robust economies like South Africa and Kenya can battle counterfeiters using their own resources, hardly any local firms appropriate budgets for such activities. The challenge therefore is on the government of Uganda to hasten the process of passing more stringent measures, as well as the anti counterfeit bill in order to stem this menace. Other stakeholders such as the Uganda Manufacturers Association, the Private sector Foundation, Enterprise Uganda and the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce & Industry must also use their position to lobby government for the passage of policies that enhance competition and legitimate business.

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