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Winning the War on Counterfeits

  Oct 14, 2011

How sure are you, that when you buy a spare part for your vehicle, that it will perform better than when it was damaged? How sure are you that when you walk into a pharmacy, the attendant will serve you with medicine that will actually work? We all have in some point in time, bought counterfeit products and have had to unexpected consequences such as waste of money, health threats among other consequences relating to the purchase of counterfeit products. The human nature causes us to automatically trust the supplier to provide products that will work to meet our needs, which sometimes doesn’t always happen. Incidents of counterfeit products have been on a rampant growth and this affects the lives of innocent Africans not to mention the continent’s economic health.

Emerging markets are exposed to threats by manufacturers from the developed world as an outlet for counterfeit products, because of the assumption that consumers residing in these markets are less knowledgeable of this dangerous trend. Consumers in these markets have to bear the news of counterfeit products only when a computer chip destroys a whole computer network in an organisation, or when a vehicle breaks down days after being at the garage and often are the times that even lives are lost through the ingestion of counterfeit drugs. Various solutions have been established to win the war against counterfeits such as enacted laws and the arrest of suppliers seen to deal in these fake goods.

The Vice President of Sproxil Global, Mr. Mohamed Haider stated, the main juncture where the counterfeit manufacturing is produced, is in the distribution channels and this is where the trade of counterfeit products needs to be arrested. In early 2009, Kenya published the Anti-Counterfeit Act of 2008 that created an Anti-Counterfeit Agency to combat counterfeiting and trade in counterfeit goods. The law also extends to counterfeit medications, which are among the most counterfeited items. Stiff fines and prison terms for those caught trading in counterfeits extends up to 15 years. Source: Daily Nation, 30th July 2009.,/p>

Thirty CEOs from various manufacturing companies culminated at a breakfast meeting sponsored by Sproxil Ltd. a company that seeks to minimize the presence of counterfeits in emerging markets. Sproxil is a company that seeks to fight the war against counterfeits, for the protection of lives in emerging markets through tracking these unfair practices down the supply chain. Through the Mobile Product AuthenticationTM technology, Sproxil has provided solutions for the manufacturers, consumers, regulators and telecoms (being a main channel for fraudsters). This technology, allows customers to get an instant response confirming a brand’s genuineness through sending a text message with a unique item code to a specified mobile number. They also have a call centre that enables consumers communicate directly with manufacturers where they encounter a problem with a specific product that they want to purchase.

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