Symposium on Economic Impact of Copyright and Related
Rights Held in Zimbabwe
By. Faith Amatika
A symposium to gauge the economic
impact of Copyright and related rights on
African countries and its place on policy
formulation and development was held in
Zimbabwe in Early June.
Representatives from 17 out of the 19
African Regional Intellectual Property
Organization (ARIPO) member states
were present during the June 5th -7th event.
Delegates from Angola and Ethiopia, the
two nations with observer status, and
potential ARIPO members were also in
e symposium was graced by several
international organizations that
included the World Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO), ARIPO, the
Organisation Africaine de la Propriete
Intellectuelle (OAPI), the International
Federation of Reproduction Rights
Organizations (IFRRO), the Norwegian
Copyright Development Association
(NORCODE), the Public Lending Right
International (PLRI), the International
Federation of the Phonographic Industry
(IFPI) and GRH Consultancy.
In her speech during the opening of the
symposium, the Zimbabwean Permanent
Secretary for the Ministry of Justice, Legal
and Parliamentary Aairs, Mrs Virginia
Mabhiza, underscored the signicance
of copyright and emphasized the need
to develop creative industries to foster
economic growth.
Several other speakers made their remarks
with each accentuating the importance of
copyright and related rights for economic
growth, legal and policy frameworks for
copyright and proper administration of
copyright among other issues.
Member states had an opportunity to show
case the various copyright and related
rights activities being done by their nations.
is was in the form of books, magazines,
iers, posters and actual works. It provided
a platform for various right holders present
to market their wares and venture into the
regional and international markets. It was
also a great opportunity for delegates to
exchange information thereby improve the
administration of copyright and related
rights in their respective countries.
At the closure of the symposium, delegates
made various recommendations as
enumerated below:
1. Policy and legal frameworks
It was recommended that in collaboration
with ARIPO and WIPO, member states
take a leading role in ratifying and / or
accenting to the various international
copyright treaties within the next two years.
Member states were also urged to develop
national laws and policies in line with
international treaties.
2. Institutional framework
(Administrative infrastructure)
Delegates proposed that WIPO, ARIPO
and Copyright oces work together with
CMOs to establish ecient supervision
of CMOs, develop beer nancial and
commercial administration to minimize
costs of operation of CMOs and maximise
distribution to rights holders and increase
human and nancial resources for the
development of the ARIPO copyright
department within the next two years.
3. Capacity Building and
awareness creation
It was resolved that the ongoing copyright
awareness creation among key policy
makers be enhanced in all member states
in collaboration with ARIPO and WIPO.
In addition, members recommended
that awareness creation be conducted in
other institutions especially in the areas
of management of copyright in the digital
space, licensing, assignment, taris as well
as lending rights.
4. Building evidence-based
information pipelines for
Copyright/ Creative Industries.
e need for keeping proper records of
copyright and the creative industry was
emphasized. It was recommended that by
2018 proper mechanisms of record keeping
and statistic creation ought to be in place.
is is to be achieved by the development
of methodologies for proper collection and
compilation of data as well as deployment
of expert personnel in economics and
statistics to produce copyright and creative
industries data in collaboration with
copyright oces, CMOs and national
statistics oces.
5. Building partnerships and
is is an ongoing process where ARIPO
and WIPO are involved with member
states’ copyright oces and CMOs at
dierent levels to ensure that there are
in place private/public partnerships to
develop projects and activities related to
6. Enforcement
Enforcement of copyright and related
rights is an ongoing process where in spite
of various challenges member states, in
conjunction with WIPO and ARIPO, are
collaborating at the regional level to share
information on enforcement; ensuring
the promotion of respect for Copyright
and Related Rights; carrying out capacity
building of law enforcement agencies in
the area of Copyright and Related rights;
customization of the WIPO tool kit on
IP crime prosecution; and Collection and
dissemination of copyright case law.
KECOBO legal ocer, Faith Amatika (right) during a Copyright symposium that was held in Zimbabwe