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AU, AFRIMA back intellectual property rights

Stakeholders and artistes in the creative/entertainment industry will heave a sigh of relief as the African Union is set to implement policies of its Pan-African Intellectual Property Organization (PAIPO).

This was disclosed on Tuesday, May 24, 2016, by the Head of Culture Division, African Union Commission, Ms. Angela Martins, during the AUC/AFRIMA Joint  conference which held in Banjul, Gambia to discuss and proffer solutions to the challenges facing the African Music Industry. The 26th Assembly of the African Union established PAIPO in January
The conference, which was part of activities marking the 10th anniversary of the AU Youth Charter, had the theme, “Using Music, Culture and Entertainment as tools for a new Africa.
In a keynote address, Martins maintained that PAIPO is one of AU’s continental tools to help protect and promote not only the rich African culture but intellectual works of talented artistes on the continent.
This, she observed, will help them attain global heights.
She said, “The mandate of the African Union is related to the development of continental policies in the various developmental sectors.  The continental policies of the Culture Division include, the
Charter for African Cultural Renaissance (adopted by the AU Assembly in Khartoum in January 2006, also celebrating 10 yearsthis year but not yet in force).
Martins eulogized the activities of AFRIMA and its stance on promoting culture through music and recognition of talents on the continent. “The African Union Commission cherishes the collaboration it has with Pan-African Cultural Institutions like AFRIMA since they partner with the AU Member States in the implementation of continental policies in this case in the areas of arts, culture and heritage.  Our collaboration with AFRIMA started in 2014. And we have since witnessed two editions of the All Africa Music Awards (in 2014 and 2015) events which recognized the value of African Artistes and promoted African Music both in the continent and internationally.  The event showcases the potential of African Music in contributing to continental development through decent job creation for the youthful population of the continent,” she said.
However, the economic power of culture and African music must be harnessed. This was highlighted in a paper presentation by Managing Director, Now Muzik, and Mr. Efe Omoregbe.
According to him, the rich African cultural heritage, awe-inspiring totems, mind-blowing music, and exciting dance moves must be explored in order to allow growth in the continent’ economies and deliver wealth to the people.
Other panelists/discussants in attendance at the conference were the  Director, Sponsorship &Communications AFRIMA, Matlou Tsotsei (South Africa); the Executive Director, National Youth Council (The Gambia)  Lamin Darboe; Media Executive, Ms Cordelia Okpei (Nigeria) and  Laolu Akins(Nigeria). Also, airing their views as panelists were the 2015 AFRIMA winners which included Stonebwoy (Ghana); Mv’vula (Angola) Adekunle Gold (Nigeria) and Stanley Enow (Cameroon).

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