The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) directive to have all counterfeit phones switched off by September 30th has been welcomed by Mi-Fone, an African Mobile Devices Brand.
Since CCK's directive is to have the over 3 million counterfeit handsets switched off, this presents an opportunity for companies such as Mi-Fone to have Kenyan consumers' confidence by engaging them in coherent and effective communication campaigns.
Mi-Fone CEO Alpesh Patel says the counterfeit market is hurting the business of genuine handsets. "Africans deserve better. It's all about consumer perception and the fact that too many rogue traders have been allowed to get away with it," said Alpesh.
The biggest challenge that Mi-Fone faces in its effort to raise its competitive edge against well known brands are lack of support from the government.
"When African Governments and Banks are ready to support entrepreneurs with funding, tax incentives, training and local employment and empowerment policies, we will be in a position to have local African manufacturing. Until then everything comes from China," Alpesh held.
Adding," Today you have "Made in China" handsets and "Chinese handsets ". Mi-Fone is "Made in China", which is similar to most known brands in the market."
Alpesh insisted that the government should have stringent measures to guard consumers, and the action should not stop at just switching off the phones, but also in ensuring that consumer awareness campaigns should be made consistent.
"Cheap substandard products make their way to Africa as our customs systems and quality controls are so lax in Africa," said Alpesh.
Mi-Fone is the first African mobile devices brand which has succeeded in penetrating 12 markets across Pan Africa since its inception in 2008. The company focuses on quality low cost products in terms of device, packaging (Hardware) and Apps stores and relevant content ( Software ) .They customize products in terms of local languages and local content such as Kenyan music and the Swahili language in their devices.
Established in April 2008, Mi-Fone is now available in over 12 African countries including: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, DRC, and Mauritius
Mi-Fone aims to ramp up its consumer offerings to attain a decent market share of the growing sub $50 device market in Africa.