CA renews focus on dealing with counterfeit devices in Kenyan market

The government, through industry regulator Communications Authority of Kenya (CA)  has renewed it focus to clamp down on the proliferation of counterfeit mobile devices in Kenya.

Speaking at the World Consumer Rights Day forum convened by the CA at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Sports Complex in Kisumu, Ezara Chiloba, the CA director general, assured Kenyans that the Authority is ready to deal with the proliferation of counterfeit devices in the country despite the resistance, mainly from those who benefit from the vice including vendors of the counterfeit devices.

(TOP: Kisumu County Deputy Governor Dr Mathew Owili and Communications Authority of Kenya DG Ezra Chiloba).

According to the CA boss, it is a great concern for the Authority to deal with proliferation of such products into the market in order to safeguard consumers.

“We hope that at some time we will improve our systems to curb the proliferation of counterfeit devices,” said Chiloba, adding that counterfeit devices expose users to various risks while also edging out business operators selling genuine devices.

“You might be experiencing compromised standards with the devices you are using, that will be a risk to the users’ health,” cautioned Chiloba.

Chiloba noted that the infringement of intellectual property rights of owners who develop and produce genuine devices must be fought.

“Few years ago when we wanted to bring sanity to the devices market, we procured a system to track and trace counterfeit products in the market, but it was stopped in the courts,” stated the CA boss.

Chiloba says the Authority will not tire to rid out counterfeit devices in the market as they seek to employ other strategies to deal with the menace.

This year’s theme for the World Consumer Rights Day is ‘Empowering Consumers through Better Quality of Service and Experience.’

The theme, Chiloba reiterated, is relevant and timely for consumers of ICT services and products across the country.

“Today we have an opportunity to share insights and lessons from the industry players including service providers, consumers, policy actors, on the present and future of quality of service in the ICT sector,” he said.

He says the consumer rights cuts across in all sectors noting that the Authority will focus on telecommunication, broadcasting and courier services.

However, the event was temporarily disrupted by protests in and around the CBD.

The morning session started with a successful and engaging High-Level Roundtable that aired live on KTN News. The session had various key speakers including Kisumu County Deputy Governor Dr Mathew Owili, CA DG Ezra Chiloba, Safaricom’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Stephen Kiptinness, Airtel Kenya’s Customer Experience Director Goldermier Opiyo and Wananchi Group’s Customer Experience Director Jane Kebenei.

After the morning session, Chiloba addressed the media and was scheduled for an African Advanced Level Telecommunications Institute (AFRALTI) Governing Council meeting at Ciala Resort in the outskirts of Kisumu town. But As the DG was leaving the venue of the event, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Sports complex, he encountered a group of protesters who unfortunately interrupted what was otherwise a successful event.

The CA DG however managed to get to the 65th official opening of AFRALTI Governing Council where he urged members among other things to make AFRALTI the premier ICT capacity building institution for the continent.


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