CISAC, an association of collection societies and performance rights organisations, has entered into an agreement with the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) in a move that is expected to strengthen copyrights and promote growth in the African creative sector.
The two bodies signed the partnership this week at the ARIPO headquarters in Harare, Zimbabwe, to pave the way for joint projects on strengthening copyright, technical exchange, education and training of organisations collecting revenues for creators.
“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,” CISAC director 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.”
Oron said CISAC was looking forward to a close collaboration with ARIPO, including opportunities for research that could demonstrate economic benefits for creative industries in Africa.
ARIPO director-general Fernando dos Santos said, “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.”
Dos Santos urged people to undergo studies that assist policy makers to make informed decisions on copyright matters, arguing that they contribute to the national economies.
“Within ARIPO member states only Malawi, Kenya and Tanzania have had such a study done with the support of WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) 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,” Dos Santos said.
According to CISCA, Africa has enormous growth potential in the creative sector. A 2016 report by CISCA titled Global Collections Report said royalty collections for creators in the region grew by 14.9% to $68.6m in 2015. This, according to CISCA, represents less than 1% of global collections totaling $9.5bn.
An economic study commissioned by CISAC and prepared by EY in 2015 shows that Africa’s creative and cultural industries were worth $58bn and employed 2.4 million people. With relatively low levels of internet penetration and challenging conditions for the rights of creators in some countries, there was huge potential for further growth, it said.