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Kenya’s mark of origin to become official

NAIROBI, Kenya,Aug 11 – The Brand Kenya Board expects the mark of origin that identifies Kenyan goods to be gazzeted by October this year.

This follows the mark’s adoption by the Kenya Industrial Property Institute to be used on consumer goods as well as government agencies as a tool for marketing the country.

Brand Kenya Chief Executive Officer Mary Kimonye said fast tracking adoption of the mark of origin would help the growth of key sectors of the economy and position products and services favorably.

“It improves levels of confidence in the exports of a country because for you to use the mark you have met a number of standards,” Mrs Kimonye said.

The Brand Kenya Board is currently drafting a memo to present to the Cabinet and eventually get gazzeted.

Mrs Kimonye said the mark of origin had been necessitated by the fact that Kenya is no longer the only place of choice in the region for international investors.

“Sometimes we miss out on a lot of opportunities because no one knows that the products they are enjoying are from Kenya,” she said.

The mark, which contains symbols adopted from the Kenya Coat of Arms, is in line with the Kenyan logo and will be used on the Government letterheads and exports.

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.

Once gazzetted, Brand Kenya will register the mark of origin with the Madrid Protocol (the primary international system for facilitating the registration of trademarks in multiple jurisdictions around the world).

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Mrs Kimonye said that by developing a mark of identity, Brand Kenya wanted to create a statement that can elicit emotional ties between the product and the consumer.

“This will not only make people recognise it, but also make them competitive,” she said.

The Brand Kenya Board will be carrying out a sensitisation campaign over the next three weeks to get people used to the mark of origin.

They will also be engaging companies to lift their standards of operations if they are to qualify to use it.

Brand Kenya will enlist the services of the Kenya Bureau of Standards to validate which companies qualify to use the mark of origin.

South Africans use the ‘Proudly South African’ campaign to get people to buy locally produced goods as well as give their products visibility in the international market.

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