A new partnership has been formed between CISAC (International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers) and ARIPO (African Regional Intellectual Property Organization).
Last week, CISAC and ARIPO signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Harare, Zimbabwe. The MoU will allow both organizations work on joint projects in order to strengthen copyright, technical exchange, education and training of organizations collecting revenues for creators.
According to CISAC’s 2016 Global Collections Report, royalty collections for creators in Africa by CISAC member societies and across multiple repertoires, grew 14.9% in 2015 to US$68.6 million yet this represents less than 1% of global collections totaling US$9.5 billion. With relatively low levels of Internet penetration and challenging conditions for the rights of creators in some countries, there is huge potential for further growth.
Speaking during the signing event, CISAC Director General, Gadi Oron, said:
“In today’s economy, creators and creative industries are a huge driver of growth and jobs, and this is only going to escalate in the future. African governments, like their counterparts globally, are realising that to nurture this potential, more actions are needed to promote and protect creators’ rights. We look forward to a close collaboration with ARIPO, including opportunities for research that can demonstrate the huge economic benefits of creative industries in Africa. Today’s agreement is a positive forward step, bringing together two hubs of international expertise to work on improving the environment for the creative sector.”
ARIPO Director-General Mr. Fernando dos Santos also stated:
“Africa has it all in creativity but there is a need to develop and implement strategies to promote and support the growth of creative industries. More studies on the creative industries’ contribution to the national economy have to be undertaken to assist policy makers to make informed decisions on copyright matters. Within ARIPO Member States only Malawi, Kenya and Tanzania have had such a study done with the support of WIPO and findings showed that creative industries contribute 3%-5% GDP of national economy. This should act as a catalyst for the African governments to continue supporting and promoting the creative industries.”
CISAC oversees a global network of 239 member societies in 123 countries. These include 36 members in 31 African countries. These organisations collect and distribute revenues and promote the interests of creators across five repertoire groups: music, audio-visual, drama, literature and visual arts.
ARIPO is an Intergovernmental Organization established to promote the use of Intellectual Property for the development in its Member States. Membership of the Organization is open to all states members of the African Union (AU) or of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). Currently ARIPO counts 19 Member States from the East, South and Western Africa and looks forward to other African countries to be its Member States.