HARARE - CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers, signed an agreement to partner with ARIPO, the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization. According to ARIPO, a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two bodies in Harare, Zimbabwe, paves the way for joint projects on strengthening copyright, technical exchange, education and training of organizations collecting revenues for creators.
The African region has enormous growth potential in the creative sector. Royalty collections for creators in the region, by CISAC member societies and across multiple repertoires, grew 14.9% in 2015 to US$68.6 million, according to CISAC’s 2016 Global Collections Report. However, this represents less than 1% of global collections totaling US$9.5 billion.
Creative and cultural industries have the potential to be a major engine of economic growth in Africa. According to an economic study commissioned by CISAC and prepared by EY in 2015, Africa’s creative and cultural industries are worth US$58 billion, employing 2.4 million people. 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.
Signing the agreement at a ceremony in Harare at the ARIPO Headquarters today, 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 realizing 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 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. 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.”