Last month, ARIPO held its annual Symposium on Copyright and Related Rights at the ARIPO Headquarters in Harare, Zimbabwe. The Symposium with the theme, “Shaping the Copyright and Related Rights System in Africa.” took place between June 12-13, 2018.
Topics discussed during the symposium included the broadcasting industry in Africa, resale rights, content industry in the digital environment, alternative dispute resolution of film and media disputes, Accessible Book Consortium (ABC), and International Treaties. The symposium reviewed the implementation status of the African Agenda (Harare Strategic Plan) that was adopted in 2017 at the first Symposium.
Zimbabwe Deputy Attorney General, Honourable Kumbirai Hodzi, officially opened the Symposium. According to him, intellectual property plays a very critical role in the protection and dissemination of knowledge and that the creative industries have assumed major economic significance and contributes to our economies significantly.
He noted that it was important that the second symposium take stock of the gains made since the first symposium in 2017. “Are we grappling with the same challenges or have we made progress? The issues of copyright and related rights in Africa need a concerted effort from everyone from copyright offices, collective management organizations (CMOs), academics, entrepreneurs and the victims such as artists among other players,” he said.
“This year’s topic is very essential and critical for Africa’s,” said the Intellectual Property Executive, Mr. John Kabare who read the opening statement on behalf of the ARIPO Director General, Mr. Fernando dos Santos.
According to Mr. Kabare, “It is still our humble call to Governments that they put in place enabling legislations and regulations for the CMOs to function effectivel.
The World Intellectual Property organization (WIPO) was represented by Ms. Carole Creolla, Senior, Counsellor, Copyright Law Division and Copyright and Creative Industries Sector. In her address she pointed out the growing demand for creative content globally hence the need for laws that offer protection for creative work.
The symposium brought together heads of Copyright Offices, Collective Management Organizations and other members of creative industries from ARIPO Member States and observer states.