- He pushed for the adoption of Artificial Intelligence to track, arrest and suppress the networks of consumer exploitations across the world.
- Gachagua said that since the digital revolution is changing how business is done, consumer rights violations are also evolving.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has commended the Competition Authority of Kenya for its work in protecting consumers in the country. https://rb.gy/kphz30
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has commended the Competition Authority of Kenya for its work in protecting consumers in the country
However, the Deputy President told the agency that it needed to do more particularly in raising awareness to protect Kenyans from unsafe practices.
The DP singled out the harmonisation of global laws and integration of technology to combat illicit trade and eradicate the exploitation of consumers as a key step in enhancing the protection of consumers and their rights.
“A UN and Kenya Association of Manufacturers report indicate that consumers in our country are exposed to exploitation. For instance, two out of five medicines on the shelves are counterfeits, a factor that not only endangers the lives of consumers but also injures confidence in modern treatment,” he explained.
He spoke on Wednesday at Radisson Blu Hotel Upper Hill, Nairobi during the opening of the 2023 Consumers International Global Congress.
Since its establishment in 2010, the Competition Authority of Kenya has received 500 complaints.
To entrench consumer rights, the Authority has been working with other sector regulators such as the Kenya Bureau of Standards, Communication Authority, Anti-Counterfeit Authority, Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Department of Weights and Measures, and Kenya Civil Aviation Authority among others.
While calling for enhanced public awareness and advocacy, Rigathi noted that a report by the Kenya Anti Counterfeit Authority indicates that 30 per cent of counterfeit goods are locally manufactured while the other 70 per cent are smuggled into the market.
He pushed for the adoption of Artificial Intelligence to track, arrest and suppress the networks of consumer exploitations across the world.
“Because of the global connectedness of the physical and digital marketplace, harmonisation of the consumer protection laws is key for unified application in various jurisdictions. This is important, especially in Africa where countries are at different stages and levels in consumer protection."
He further observed that as mobile banking and digital payments keep rising, more consumer issues emerge, hence relevant laws must be aligned to meet the demands of such developments.
“Kenya is among the few countries in Africa, which have made substantive progress in the establishment and implementation of e-Transaction laws, cybercrime laws, data protection privacy laws, and consumer protection laws, among other key frameworks of protecting consumers in the physical and digital spaces,” said the Deputy President.
A recent report on the future of finance indicated that 21 million internet users and 59 million sim card subscribers in Kenya rely on mobile phones not only to communicate but also to make and receive payments.
Gachagua said that since the digital revolution is changing how business is done, consumer rights violations are also evolving.