MRO Magazine

Large number of fake electrical goods found in Africa


April 7, 2015
By Bill Roebuck


Rueil-Malmaison, France — A survey conducted by Schneider Electric in 11 African countries has revealed that 40% to 80% of electrical goods in the supply chain are counterfeit, according to a report published in

Cables, breakers, sockets, switches and extension cords were the five most counterfeited electrical products — in that order — and China remains the main source of fake electrical goods entering the continent, according to the survey.

Counterfeit electrical goods can be fraught with danger and aside from failing to perform as expected can threaten equipment and lives.

China was cited as the country of origin for counterfeits by three quarters of respondents, with other Asian markets making up most of the remainder, although locally manufactured counterfeits were also reported from countries such as Tanzania, Nigeria and Ivory Coast.


“Having measured the impact of counterfeits on African economies and users’ safety, the urgency to act is real,” said Tracy Garner, Schneider’s anti-counterfeiting global manager. “For the first time, all stakeholders of the African electrical market will be able to move forward, based on a solid picture of reality.”

The survey was conducted among 500 high-level officials and professionals from Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda.