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(Africa) CISAC Partners with ARIPO to Champion Creators’ Rights And Growth of African Music Market

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On 14 February, a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between CISAC and the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) was signed in Harare, Zimbabwe at the new offices of ARIPO. The MoU lays the groundwork for increased collaboration in reinforcing copyright, sharing technical knowledge, educating and training societies in collecting royalties on behalf of creators.

Cisac, the world’s largest association of collection societies and performance rights organisations, has entered into a ‘memorandum of understanding’ with the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (Aripo) aimed at strengthening copyright and promoting creative-sector growth in Africa.

The African market was the biggest growth area for Cisac members in 2015, with royalty payments from live and background music increasing 33.2% year on year. Despite this steady growth, total royalty collections in the continent stood US$68.6 million – under 1% of the global total of $9.5 billion.

According to Aripo – an intergovernmental organisation whose membership comprises 19, mostly English-speaking, countries (a similar organisation, Oapi, represents francophone Africa) – the partnership with Cisac “paves the way for joint projects on strengthening copyright, technical exchange, education and training of organisations collecting revenues for creators”.

Speaking at the signing of the agreement, at Aripo’s headquarters in Harare (Salisbury), Zimbabwe, yesterday, 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 the 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’s director-general, Fernando dos Santos, added: “Africa has it all in creativity, but there is a need to develop and implement strategies to promote and support the growth of the creative industries. More studies on the creative industries’ contribution to the national economy have to be undertaken to assist policymakers to make informed decisions on copyright matters.