Strategic plan for African creators confirmed at CISAC annual African meeting in Kigali


Kigali, Rwanda, 24 July 2017 – Creators, representatives of more than 30 authors societies, government officials and delegates from international organisations are gathering in Kigali, Rwanda this week for CISAC’s African Committee (CAF) meeting.

The three-day event starting on 25th July, hosted by local authors’ society RSAU, will be attended by Minister of Sports and Culture of Rwanda, Julienne Uwacu, and Minister of Trade and Industry of Rwanda, Francois Kanimba. It will focus on strategies to boost growth of creators’ remuneration in Africa, improve efficiencies in collecting royalties from users of music, visual and audio-visual works, and lobby for better support from governments in the region.

CISAC – the International Confederation of Authors Societies and Composers - has 36 member societies (also referred to as Collective Management Organisations, or CMOs) in 31 different countries in Africa. Royalty collections for the African region reached €61.3M for 2015, an increase of 14.9% from 2014, according to data from CISAC’s 2016 Global Collections Report. 

The forum will confirm a strategic plan for CMOs in the African region, including a drive to develop growth in royalty collection over the next four years. Other key topics to be covered include licensing challenges within the television and radio sector, the licensing of digital services, and how best to support the development of African CMOs by national and international organisations. Speakers include delegates from UN agency the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO).

Africa’s creative industries have huge growth potential but creators currently have an uphill struggle to secure fair remuneration for their work. According to a survey compiled by CISAC for the Kigali meeting, less than 40% of all radio stations across the region are licensed to broadcast music. Of 2580 broadcasters identified in 22 countries, only 1031 are licensed and pay royalties to authors.

CISAC Director General Gadi Oron says: “Overall, we have seen growth in collections in Africa over the past ten years. We are on the right track. But there is an enormous amount of work still to do.  First, we want to further improve efficiency of collections. We also need solid copyright laws that are efficiently enforced. This is a major challenge in a world where music users, media services and others so often do not appreciate the value of creativity or recognise the rights of the creator.”

CISAC is stepping up its collaboration with international agencies to improve royalty collections and the copyright environment in Africa. In February 2017, CISAC signed a ground-breaking agreement with ARIPO. The landmark Memorandum of Understanding  aims to help champion creators’ rights and boost economic growth within the region.