Improving creators' royalty collections in Africa: rights societies from across the region gather in Abidjan

Ivory Coast Minister of Culture and Francophonie opens CISAC’s Africa’s Committee

Paris, July 23rd, 2018 – Authors societies from across Africa will meet in Abidjan this week to plan new strategies for increasing royalty collections to creators across the region. 

The International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) will hold its annual Regional African Committee on July 24th-25th at the Sofitel Hôtel Ivoire d’Abidjan, at a time of huge opportunities for African creators in the rapidly growing digital market.

Hosted by BURIDA, the authors’ society of Ivory Coast, the meeting will be opened by Ivory Coast Minister of Culture and Francophonie Maurice Kouakou Bandaman and attended by CISAC Director General Gadi Oron. Pan-African Composers' and Songwriters' Alliance (PACSA) President and singer-songwriter Samuel Mbende will attend, as well as representatives from WIPO and the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI).

CISAC Africa Committee Chair Irène Assa Vieira said: “This is a critical moment for the future of the rights and income of creators in Africa. Our organisations are working together to represent African creators, to protect their rights and ensure they are fairly remunerated.  In a world where the users of creative content are increasingly global and cross-border, a unified collective approach has never been more important.”

A separate study day takes place on Monday, July 23rd, organised jointly by the CISAC CAF and WIPO, focused on copyright legislation and regulation of the audiovisual ecosystem”.

CISAC Global Collections Report, to be issued later this year, is expected to show royalty collections for creators in Africa at more than €70 million, mostly for music. But this still only represents less than 1% of total global collections reported to CISAC.

CISAC Director General Gadi Oron said: “Africa is home to the world’s greatest cultural talent, and is now a connected region with enormous potential to develop its creative industries.  The work of authors societies in Africa, with full collaboration from CISAC and our societies worldwide, is to unlock that potential by establishing business conditions and a fair legal environment so that creators can make a living and a career from their work. The CISAC Africa Committee, under the dedicated leadership of Irene Vieira, CEO of BURIDA, the Ivory Coast authors’ society, is working relentlessly to achieve that goal”.

CISAC has 37 member societies across Africa, representing and collecting for tens of thousands of creators across the region. Their annual meeting will focus on:

  • Lobbying governments for key improvements in copyright legislation to better reward creators;
  • Untapping the huge economic potential of private copying levies;
  • Improving payments to creators from major users of works such as broadcasters;
  • Putting in place licensing and collections systems for the rapidly-growing digital market.