Music rights in sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges and opportunities

Research title: The Protection and Licensing of Music Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges and Opportunities
Publication: Journal of the Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Association (MEIEA), Volume 14, Number 1
Year: 2014

Photo: galleryhip.com
Photo: galleryhip.com

Abstract

Africa has given the world such wonderful tunes as ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s ‘Homeless’. It inspired the 2010 FIFA World Cup official song, ‘Waka Waka’, so beautifully rendered by Shakira. Africa is a wonderful, massive source of great talent and creativity waiting for an opportunity to express itself. Nevertheless, the business aspects of this rich cultural heritage still, to a large extent, needs to be cultivated. A lot still needs to be done in many parts of the region to ensure that Africa can effectively compete in the elaborate, exquisite, and well-oiled machinery termed “the global music industry.” Many parts of Sub-Saharan Africa still display a dearth of the skills, knowledge, and expertise that are crucial to a successful, globally-oriented industry. However, in spite of gross financial constraints, there is no lack of entrepreneurial and creative endeavors in the region—and the industry is a lively hub of adventurous activity. The sheer resolve of participants in this industry demonstrates the fact that the situation can only get better.

Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa, music licensing, collective management, authors’ rights, sound recordings, performers’ rights, music business, music industry

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