IFRRO attends Kopinor Regional Seminar for RROs in Africa

On 6 and 7 March 2019, IFRRO participated in a regional seminar organised by Kopinor in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, together with representatives of RROs in East and Southern Africa.dar1.jpg

The seminar was opened by Doreen Sinare, CEO of the Copyright Society of Tanzania, by the Deputy Permanent Secretary of Tanzania’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, and by Hans-Petter Fuglerud, Kopinor’s Director of Aid and Development. The Deputy Permanent Secretary acknowledged the contribution of the copyright industries to the economy of Tanzania, which is more important than many other sectors. 

Delegates from Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, including IFRRO’s members COSOMA, DALRO, URRO and ZARRSO took part in the discussions which focused on licensing and the importance of working with authors’ associations. Trond Andreassen, Chair of Kopinor’s International Affairs Committee, explained the vital role that RROs are playing to support authors and their associations and provide them with revenues deriving from the secondary uses of their works. Ruth Simujayangombe, CEO of ZARRSO, reflected on the commitment of the Zambian government to support the implementation of licences in Zambia. Pierre-Olivier Lesburguères, IFRRO’s Manager for Policy and Regional Development, presented an update on IFRRO’s work, including recent campaigns and publications showing the value of licensing. 

Licensing solutions help sustain a local publishing industry and reward local authors for their writing, and in countries where providing local textbooks to children remains a challenge (as recently reported in Uganda), a strong partnership between authors, publishers, the RRO and international initiatives such as WIPO’s Publisher Circle will help to overcome it.

As the seminar drew to an end, everyone was reminded of the main reason for being here: to support culture and creativity, when Abdullah Saiwaad, CEO of Tanzanian indigenous publishing house Readit Books, concluded his presentation by reading the beautiful words of local poet and writer Mathias E. Mnyampala.

IFRRO is grateful to Kopinor for the invitation to attend the seminar as well as to the host country, Tanzania, and the RRO, COSOTA.