More than 87% of the software sold in Ethiopia is pirated announced the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Organization. An study conducted by the EIPO revealed that most of the software sold in the capital city is pirated or illegally downloaded according to Birhanu Adelo Director General of the organization.
The EIPO has signed a partnership agreement with the Microsoft Company to combat illegal counterfeit software entering the country he noted.
The organization has committed to working with Microsoft to increase public awareness on the advantages of using genuine software including the security and reliability it offers to businesses explained Birhanu.
Piracy will have a detrimental effect on the economy and other national interests claimed Birhanu.Microsoft and EIPO signed a Memorandum of Understanding and will invest in training procurement managers for government offices and local journalists as well as promoting original software distributor channels all in an effort to raise awareness. A media company has already been launched with aim to educate consumers.
The activities will focus on highlighting how all Ethiopian will benefit from the protection of intellectual property rights as part of fostering local innovations and on illuminating the negative cultural and social side effects of allowing such violation said Wanja Muriithi, Microsoft Representative for Eastern and Southern Africa.
It is to be remembered that the Business Software Alliance announced that the software piracy rate in Eastern and Southern Africa stood at 83% which is almost double the average of 42% for global software piracy rates.