IFRRO’s African Development Committee meets in Lusaka, Zambia

On 10 and 11 July, eleven RROs in Africa, ARIPO, and the IFRRO Secretariat participated in a seminar and meeting of IFRRO’s African Development Committee.

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Participants in the seminar on 10 July 2018 in Lusaka

On the first day, around 70 representatives from universities and other learning institutions in Zambia gathered to discuss educational licensing with the foreign delegates. A number of universities in Zambia have signed a licence with the RRO, ZARRSO, and the Ministry of Higher Education signed a major licensing agreement in summer 2017 covering all public universities. The seminar was opened by Kayula Siame, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry of Zambia, who reminded all participants of the need for institutions where copyright-protected works are copied to take up licences. IFRRO’s members present, coming from RROs in Botswana (COSBOTS), Ghana (CopyGhana), Kenya (Kopiken), Malawi (Cosoma), Mauritius (MASA), Nigeria (Repronig), South Africa (DALRO), Tanzania (Kopitan), Uganda (URRO), Zambia (ZARRSO) and Zimbabwe (ZimCopy) spoke about the benefits of licensing, and as the seminar drew to an end a number of institutions confirmed their intention to start negotiating licences with ZARRSO.

In the afternoon and on the following day, IFRRO’s members in Africa discussed recent developments under the leadership of the Chair of the African Development Committee, Dora Makwinja. Maureen Fondo of ARIPO presented the priorities for her organisation and described the Harare Action Plan for copyright, and IFRRO’s Chief Executive Caroline Morgan presented IFRRO’s priorities in the region and led the discussions on several aspects of collective management, including the collection of mandates and the distribution of copyright revenues. Participants heard from Botswana and Nigeria about their negotiations with educational institutions. Cosoma and URRO detailed their strategy to collect private copying levies in a roundtable on copyright levies led by IFRRO’s Manager for Policy and Regional Development Pierre-Olivier Lesburguères. 

The participants welcomed the many positive developments in terms of licensing and collective of copyright levies, with an increasing number of countries in Africa considering introducing such levies in their legislation. The work done by developed RROs to help new ones, such as the mentoring of the new CMO in the Gambia undertaken by CopyGhana and Cosoma, was also praised. Before the meeting closed, the participants unanimously adopted a Resolution commending the Zambian schools, colleges and universities that have entered into licensing agreements with ZARRSO. They also thanked warmly the host RRO for the well-organised and fruitful meeting.