Over 300 Egyptians generated recommendations to strengthen the consumer protection law in Egypt at an event in Alexandria sponsored by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Organised in coordination with the Egyptian Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) and three civil society groups, this event increased public awareness regarding consumer rights and regulations.
“USAID has been supporting the rights of Egyptian consumers since 2006,” said Dr Mary C. Ott, Director of the USAID mission in Egypt. “As consumers, we expect the products we buy to be safe and meet certain standards. We applaud Egypt’s civil society for raising consumers’ awareness and assisting them in exercising their rights.”
Egyptian civil society groups based in Alexandria, including the Consumer Protection Association, the Consumer Protection and Environmental Preservation Association and the Local Media Professionals Association, organised this public discussion of the new draft for the consumer protection law. Participants addressed vital issues facing the Egyptian consumer and generated recommendations on the new draft to be taken into consideration by CPA, recognising that public understanding of consumer protection laws leads to economic growth that is both accountable and responsive to market needs.
The CPA works in coordination with the civil society to increase public awareness of consumer rights through working with Egyptian agencies and organisations that fight for consumer protection and combat the sale of counterfeit products. In addition to consumer rights, the CPA focuses on regulating Egyptian markets, protecting trademarks, preventing counterfeit products, increasing fairness in competition, and attracting more foreign investment.
On 15 March 1962, US President John F Kennedy became the first world leader to formally address the issue of consumer rights. USAID continues to raise global awareness regarding consumer rights and the crucial role that consumer protection plays in making societies safer and fairer. In addition to consumer protection, USAID has strengthened the Egyptian economy through helping launch 63 start-up companies in Egypt – 18 of which are owned by women – and helping provide new or better full-time employment for over 40,000 people and short-term jobs for another 20,000 workers. These projects are part of the nearly $30bn that the American people, through USAID, have invested in Egypt since 1975.