Kenya ranked 95th of 130 countries in the IPR Index and 106th of 140 economies in the Global Competitiveness Index.
Results of the commissioned survey were summarized during a BASCAP panel session on day one of a three-day regional workshop entitled “The Implementation of an Interagency Approach to IP Protection and Enforcement: Kenya and the East African Community (EAC)” which took place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nairobi on 7–9 August 2012.
The report consolidates available and accessible information to assess the relationship between IPRs and FDI, illustrate the value of IP protection and enforcement, and determine the impact of counterfeiting in Kenya. It also proposes a set of policy and legislative recommendations and explores the benefits of IP protection in strengthening national economies, driving innovation and technology, fostering new ideas, and enhancing society and culture.
“The good news is that IP protection benefits the Kenyan economy in terms of GDP, employment, tax revenues, development and competitiveness. IPRs also promote foreign direct investment (FDI) and technology transfers in developed and developing countries; driving economic growth,” said Tracy Faustin, BASCAP Project Manager. “The bad news is that Kenya loses an estimated US$84 million of tax revenues to counterfeiting, an industry with a value of approximately US$835 million.”
The workshop was organized by the Kenya Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA) and the US Department of Commerce Commercial Law Development Program, in coordination with the US Customs and Border Protection, US Department of Justice, US Embassy Nairobi and the US Patent and Trademark Office.
“Greater recognition to the enormous importance of IP will create greater respect for IP,” Ms Faustin concluded. “BASCAP is committed to improving IP protections throughout Africa.”
Through an interactive and interagency approach, the workshop aims to increase efficiency, consistency, and effectiveness in IP enforcement and protection in Kenya and the EAC region.
Experts from across the East African region and from US agencies employed case studies and IP scenarios to engage participants in the workshop which featured high-level speakers from government and business, including BASCAP member company Diageo’s local representative, Magdalene Munyao, Head of Group Brand Assurance for East Africa Region.
“We hope that the BASCAP policy and legislative recommendations presented today can serve as an IPR enforcement plan for a government and business working group going forward,” said Ms Munyao.
BASCAP is an initiative of the International Chamber of Commerce. BASCAP unites global business to more effectively address IPR issues and petition for greater commitments by local, national and international officials for IPR enforcement and protection.