CISAC’s African Committee Hears of Strong Potential for Improved Creators Remuneration in Morocco
Morocco has great cultural heritage and a thriving contemporary art sector. With increased efforts of the local authors’ society, national government backing and CISAC’s support, the potential is evident to significantly increase creators’ remuneration in this country. That was the message that delegates to CISAC’s Executive Committee of the African Committee (CECAF) meeting took away after this week’s two-day conference.
Hosted by the BMDA (the Bureau Marocain du Droit d'Auteur), in the capital Rabat, this was the first CISAC meeting to be held in Morocco in nearly 13 years. CISAC Director General Gadi Oron and Regional Director for Africa Balamine Ouattara, joined representatives from BMDA, BURIDA (Ivory Coast), MCSK (Kenya), ONDA (Algeria), CMC (Cameroon) and NASCAM (Namibia) to define strategic priorities for authors’ societies in Africa and discuss ways to strengthen the system of collective management of rights in the region.
The two-day meeting opened with keynote speeches from BMDA Director Badreddine Radi and CECAF Chairwoman Irene Viera. Both stressed the importance of Moroccan creators to the country’s heritage and economy and the potential to grow royalty collection in Morroco and Africa. CISAC Director General Gadi Oron spoke next to restate the key challenges that face creators in Morocco and the African continent. He explained how the economic value of creative work is hindered by weak copyright laws, by the insufficient enforcement of existing laws, by physical and digital piracy, and, crucially, by the reluctance of many users of creative works to properly remunerate creators. There followed a lively discussion on the strategic priorities for Africa and the promotion of the collective management of rights across the continent. Other issues discussed included a proposal for a cross-African database project, presented by South African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) CEO Sipho Dlamini; and a presentation on the activities of the Pan-African Composers and Songwriters Alliance (PACSA) Chairman Sam Mbende. CISAC Regional Director for Africa Balamine Ouattara elaborated on CISAC’s 2015 strategic plan for Africa.
As part of the visit to Morocco, CISAC Director General Gadi Oron also met personally with Morocco’s Minister of Communications and Spokesperson of the Government, Mr Mustapha Khalfi, and held a press conference with the participation of local artists, where he highlighted the huge potential for growing creators’ royalties in Africa.
The next African Committee Executive Committee meeting is scheduled to take place on 30 June in Luanda, Angola.