LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – AS the world commemorates Consumer Rights Day, the African Consumer Union – ACU says counterfeit products remains a huge challenge to the consumers in Africa.
Speaking ahead of the Consumer Rights Day which falls today 15th March, ACU vice president Muyunda Ililonga says that counterfeit is among the other challenges consumers on the continent including those in Zambia face as they spend their hard-earned money.
Consumers International (CI) has chosen “TRUSTED SMART PRODUCTS ” as the global theme for this year’s World Consumer Rights day (WCRD).
“The spread of counterfeit goods has become very wide in Africa, and Zambia is no exception. The range of counterfeited goods is extremely broad increasingly exploiting not only luxury goods but also every day consumer goods,” says Ililonga.
He adds that counterfeit products affects consumers in many ways including threat to public health and safety among them.
“This trend exacerbates poverty in Africa as consumers are robbed of their money without realising the full benefit of the product they purchase. Further, African economies are impacted negatively as traders of these products invade paying taxes and in some cases provide unfair competition to legitimate domestic producers,” he says.
In Zambia, beauty products, medicine, fragrances, electronic products such as mobile phones are some of the frequently counterfeited products.
Counterfeiting is used as a broad term which encompasses any manufacturing of a product which so closely imitates or copies the appearance of another product to mislead consumers that it is indeed that other product. Counterfeit consumer goods have a reputation of being of lower quality and sometimes not working at all and may even include toxic elements.