Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Uganda Has Largest Number of Fake Nokia Phones in East Africa

Uganda has the highest number of substandard mobile phone devices in East Africa, The Daily Monitor reported.

Analysts blamed the delayed enactment of the anti-counterfeit law by the county's parliament.

Kenneth Oyolla, Nokia general manager for East and Southern Africa, said 30 percent of all mobile phones sold in Uganda are counterfeits, compared with 10 percent in Kenya.

Nokia loses about USD 15 million monthly in the Kenyan market while the figures are higher in Uganda and Tanzania, he said.

The Kenyan government passed an anti-counterfeit law in June 2010 that provides for anyone caught selling counterfeits to pay three times the retail value of the device and up to five years in jail if implicated again.

Oyolla said the law has reduced trade in counterfeits in Kenya and should be replicated in all EAC countries as it is a common market.

Traders dealing in counterfeits can easily cross to other countries in the region where there is no deterrent law, he said. A genuine E71 costs USD 230 while the fake one goes for about USD 50.

Uganda's anti-counterfeit bill was not passed into law after the eighth Parliament closed before the bill's second reading.

Oyolla, who was speaking at the launch of the Nokia 101 and Nokia 100 mobile handsets in Nairobi, said the firm has partnered with retailers in the sale of genuine devices as one of the ways to reduce revenue loss.

No comments: