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Parliament Moves to Fight Counterfeits

The Parliament of Uganda will on Wednesday this week hold the Anti-Counterfeit Expo that is aimed at creating awareness about the adverse effects of counterfeit products on Uganda’s economy.

Fred Muwema, the Legal Adviser and Corporate Affairs Manager at Anti-Counterfeit Network (ANC) told the press on Monday that the expo is intended to change the negative mind-sets of Ugandans that view counterfeit and illicit trade as acceptable and affordable form of business.

The expo will also highlight revenue losses incurred when Uganda is exposed to counterfeits.

“Generally as a country, we have not deeply internalized the idea that the backbone of competitiveness and the prosperity of a nation in the increasingly globalized knowledge-based economies are both pegged on its Intellectual Property mind-set and system,” Muwema said.

He added that the interaction between the advocacy body with legislators will help in explaining why Uganda needs legislation to fight counterfeits.

He warned that the absence of the law will have dire consequences in attaining Vision 2040.

“In the absence of adequate anti-counterfeit legislation and the absence of a clear Intellectual Property (IP) policy, funding or system for nurturing patentable innovations and enforcement of IP rights, Uganda might not be able to achieve its Vision 2040,” he warned.

John Atoken, Executive Director at Kenya Counterfeit Agency will be the keynote speaker at a ceremony that has been organised to coincide with the Intellectual Property Rights day.

Key on the highlights to be discussed include; sharing of best practice through the engagement of some of the stakeholders. The platform will also be used to strongly stigmatize counterfeits and counterfeiters.

“We need to use this forum to promote the need for enforcement of Intellectual Property rights as a catalyst for innovation, hard work, Foreign Direct Investment and wealth creation and also energize the legislative call for stronger and more responsive anti-counterfeit measures and laws,” Muwema noted.

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