An educational campaign, aimed at controlling the use of counterfeit electrical products in the Brong-Ahafo Region, has been launched in Sunyani by the Communication for Development and Advocacy Consult (CDA Consult), an advocacy organisation.
The nationwide campaign, which seeks to help professionals and users understand the dangers associated with patronising counterfeit electrical products, is dubbed, “Avoid Patronage of Counterfeit Electrical Products.”
It would be held in all the regional capitals, but targets 150 out of the 216 districts in the country.
Mr. Francis Ameyibor, Executive Director of CDA Consult, expressed discomfort with the proliferation and use of counterfeit electrical products, which, he said, remains a major cause of domestic fire outbreaks.
“Counterfeit electrical products are infecting many important product categories in the global market,” he said, adding that “manufacturers, distributors, contractors, and, ultimately, customers, all face the risks to safety, legal liability and profitability.”
Mr Ameyibor said CDA Consult intends the to organise the second in a series of workshops in Sunyani, from April 12 to 14, to sensitise participants on the campaign, adding that such workshops would be replicated in some selected districts in the region.
CDA Consult will engage public and private institutions, including the Ghana Standards Authority, Ghana National Fire Service, Service Merchandise Limited, electrical contractors and manufacturers, shop owners, dealers in electronic appliances, users, security agencies, and the media to make the campaign a success.
Mr. Ameyibor said the sale of counterfeit electrical products is a crime that needs serious attention.
“CDA Consult considers [the] sale of fake electrical products a crime and a serious issue that deserves serious attention,” he said.
He said the public education, therefore, seeks to ensure that officials take stiffer actions against dealers in counterfeit electrical products.
“The public education we are doing now is to ensure that officials take stiffer sanctions against dealers in counterfeit products,” he said.
The Executive Director said there is the need to equip electricians and retailers for them to be able to distinguish between fake electrical products and genuine ones.
“For electricians and retailers to identify fake electrical products from genuine ones, there is the urgent need to equip them,” he said.
He expressed regret that Ghana is gradually becoming a fertile market for counterfeit electrical products, and called for concerted efforts to tackle the situation.
“It is unfortunate that Ghana is becoming a safe market for counterfeit electrical products, and we need to address the problem,” he said.
According to Mr. Ameyibor, the use of fake electrical products impacts negatively on the country’s economy, because “it impedes development, creates huge financial loss to investors and the nation, as well as loss of lives.”
He, therefore, called for a national crusade to discourage the public from patronising fake electrical products.
“Counterfeit electrical products expose the user to great danger, and are rapidly creating a huge and growing problem for the country,” he said, and called for a national crusade that would discourage the patronage of such products.