COMPUTING

80 Percent of Computer Products Fake in East Africa

Up to 80 per cent of computer consumable products on sale in East Africa could be fake, a major regional distributor with branches in four countries has claimed. Among the most affected are the HP brand of toners and cartridges, according to Red Dot Kenya country manager Asif Saroya. Red Dot is a distributor of computers and related accessories with offices in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia.

He attributed the proliferation of counterfeits to the exponential growth witnessed in the ICT sector over the past five years, which has created a rising demand that unscrupulous traders are exploiting by offering cheap substandard products - mostly from the Far East.

There is a growing controversy around the world over the safety and efficacy of goods made in China, the world's fastest growing economy, which has been dogged by massive counterfeit claims.

Worried that counterfeits could drive genuine products dealers out of the market, the company has come up with a series of strategies to beat the fakes. Since that fake products are usually cheaper, the company is revising its pricing to make its products more competitive and forge a closer partnership with its dealers through loyalty programmes to encourage them to stick to its brands.

A massive consumer education programme has also been mounted by the company and its distributors to inform users on how to avoid fake products.

The East African

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