CISAC joins Music in Africa ACCES Conference to advocate for copyright as solution to piracy

2018 CISAC Global Collections Report presented to emphasise impact of royalties for creators
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On November 16th, CISAC’s Regional Director Samuel Sangwa took part in a conference titled “Royalty Collection, Africa’s Biggest Enemy?” 

Between 2016 and 2017, Africa grew its collections by 11.5% according to the 2018 CISAC Global Collections Report. The region is a hub for creativity across repertoires yet suffers from a mismatch between the amount of creative works produced and the amounts received from the use of these works.

Much of this is due to a combination of inadequate legislation and the resistance of users, which is derived from weak copyright enforcement. This has let piracy significantly impact the ability of societies to collect and distribute remuneration due to its creators. A 2017 CISAC survey determined that less than 40% of all radio stations across Africa are licenced to broadcast music. Of 2,580 identified broadcasters in 22 countries, only 1,031 are licenced and pay royalties.

One of the largest pan-African events for the music industry drew over 60 countries to Nairobi, Kenya for the Music in Africa ACCES Conference. CISAC’s Regional Director Samuel Sangwa was invited to take part in a conference session and panel titled “Royalty Collection, Africa’s Biggest Enemy?” The event examined several areas including the current legal environments for artists, the roles of stakeholders in addressing collections, distribution challenges and a review of the 2018 CISAC Global Collections Report, particularly regarding Kenya.

During the discussion, Sangwa presented the report as well as CISAC’s priorities in the region. CISAC has been active in lobbying governments to establish proper systems for private copying collection and distribution. In Senegal, CISAC brought together 16 societies in September to learn about private copying schemes and how they can contribute to creators’ livelihoods if properly implemented. Societies have been requesting this support, as currently more than 80% of the total African collections are made up of only 3 countries: South Africa (50.5%), Algeria (26%) and Morocco (7.2%). Music alone comprises of 91.5% of total collections.

The panel discussion was moderated by Kenyan musician Maureen Kunga with panellists including Sangwa, Kenya Copyright Board Executive Director Edward Sigei, Kenya Association of Music Producers Director Angela Ndambuki and SACEM International Development Officer for Africa Akotchaye Okio.

CISAC has 37-member societies in Africa. Its creators’ councils CIAM and Writers & Directors Worldwide have established continental alliances, respectively PACSA and APASER, in the region to educate and support creators in their quest for an improved collections and collective management environment.

For additional insight into Africa, watch this report from BrandPlus TV from the conference featuring Samuel Sangwa: