Counterfeit products doing more harm than good to Uganda-Activists

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Counterfeit products doing more harm than good to Uganda-Activists
Fred Muwema.

Activists under the  Anti Counterfeit Network have said counterfeit goods are doing more harm than good for Uganda.

In an interview with the Nile Post,  Fred Muwema, the Chairman of the Anti-Counterfeit Network said  that counterfeit goods are more expensive as they compromise consumers' health that end up spending a lot on treatment in hospitals.

"When you look at the bill, it has helped us define the counterfeit, and counterfeiters have been taking advantage, but now the Anti-Counterfeiting Bill, 2023 defines counterfeit from production to processing and marketing," Muwema noted.

"Counterfeits lead to poverty because when you buy a fake product it's durability is short-lived and you think you are saving, prescribing your poultry with fake medicine you lose, the more you afford counterfeit products because you want cheap things, you are contributing to being poor."

Muwema adds that the presence of counterfeit goods undermines the competitiveness of legitimate businesses and leads to revenue losses for the government.

Joseph Kizito, the consumer affairs specialist at the Uganda Communications Commission said, "as regulators we ensure quality, equality and redress but we need what to use and the counterfeit bill will aid us and we are going to support it."

"Every sector now has been invaded by counterfeiters at the detriment of our country because it has been an open field and if we don't support this bill we will be destroying the future of our country. "

The Anti-Counterfeit Network and Uganda Communications Commission are on a consultative engagement with stakeholders in different parts of the country asking them  to join in support of the anti-counterfeit bill.

Legitimate businesses face unfair competition from counterfeiters who can produce goods at a lower cost, but this can result in job losses and reduced investments in innovation and product development.

"Government loses tax revenue due to the underground nature of the counterfeit market and so to address the issue of anticounterfeit goods in Uganda, a multi-faceted approach is needed," Muwema shared with Mbarara traders.

He said there is a need for stricter enforcement of existing laws and regulations related to intellectual property rights.

This includes increasing penalties for counterfeiters and enhancing collaboration between different government agencies involved in anticounterfeit efforts.

Public awareness campaigns can help educate consumers about the dangers of counterfeit goods and empower them to make informed purchasing decisions.

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