A Touch of Kenya is here

March 18, 2011

, NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 18 – The Brand Kenya Board has unveiled the country\’s mark of origin that is expected to lift the standards of Kenyan products and services in the international market.

The mark will be accompanied by a tag line, \’A Touch of Kenya\’, as the marketing agency seeks to highlight the country\’s key sectors including agriculture, quality of goods and services and the attractiveness of the Kenyan culture.

Unveiling the mark to the Kenya private sector Alliance (KEPSA), Brand Kenya Chief Executive Officer Mary Kimonye said the mark of origin would speed up the growth of key sectors of the economy and position products and services favourably.

"The motivation behind this is we realised Kenya exports very high quality products into the world market but when they get there, no one knows where it comes from, so it was important to come up with this mark of origin," Mrs Kimonye said.

The Brand Kenya Board has set up an implementation taskforce comprising the Kenya Bureau of Standards, government ministries and the Kenya Industrial Property Institute to draft rules of application for the mark of origin.

According to Mrs Kimonye, only companies with goods that meet a certain threshold of standards will be approved to use the mark of origin and the tag line.

"We are using KEBS to validate which companies qualify to use the mark of origin and now it\’s just a matter of discussing how to apply it," she said.

Brand Kenya expects to implement the use of the mark of origin within the next three months.

KEPSA Director Vimal Shah lauded the move saying it would boost Kenya\’s image and cement its position as the regional hub for economic investment.

"This is something we needed and was long overdue," Mr Shah said.

Last year, Brand Kenya contracted Interbrand Sampson East Africa to develop a brand master plan for the country. The brand consultancy company will also address priority areas such as tourism and investment opportunities, economic and foreign policies among others.

Mrs Kimonye said they were still developing the national brand tag line that would be used by other marketing agencies such as the Kenya Tea Board and the Kenya Tourist Board to promote the country.

"We are still looking for a phrase that best captures the essence of Kenya and is easy to be identified by all Kenyans," she said.

The Board has already coined \’Kenya, Bursting with Generosity, Rewarding Beyond Expectation\’ as a draft phrase but would be inviting the public to give their views.

"This Brand will enable Kenya to build its core competencies and unique opportunities, as well as future aspirations relevant to trade, tourism, investors and citizens," she said.

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