While the demand is growing for branded goods, the instances of infringing and counterfeit goods is on the increase.
The various IP rights protection measures available to brand holders differ from country to country and vary from region to region. As a result, a ‘one-size-fits-all’ anti-counterfeiting strategy cannot be easily applied or adopted in covering the key regions and territories in Africa.
A key understanding of Africa and its nuances is important in establishing an effective anti-counterfeiting strategy. Although modern trade is growing in Africa, this is still small and underdeveloped in most African countries. The most common and popular trading channels in Africa are the simple table top or small ‘spaza’ shops, which are individually owned and managed by local entrepreneurs, set up on the side of the road, or in local markets, in order to capture the passing trade.
A strategy focused primarily on customs recordals and actions alone is not sufficient or recommended in Africa, particularly due to the inconsistencies in inspections and measures to stop counterfeits at the ports, airports and borders from region to region. As such, we encourage a comprehensive strategy that includes a strong market focus and consistent enforcement strategy, using local law enforcement and regulatory mechanisms to derive the maximum benefit from the mechanisms available in each territory.