South Sudan Copyright Design Peer-to-Peer Exchange with the United Republic of Tanzania

UNESCO and the European Union are supporting the Ministry of Culture, Museums and Natural Heritage in South Sudan with the development of the cultural and creative industries sector through peer-to-peer learning exchange with experts from Tanzania Copyright Office  in a two-day meeting  with national stakeholders from 17 to 18 November 2020 organized by the UNESCO Office in Juba. The meeting brought together key actors in the cultural and creative industries (CCIs), government Ministries in South Sudan as a national team to participate in the national consultation and share in Tanzania experience to support the CCIs develop a national copyright policy to support the CCIs.

Fr. Thomas Obura the Acting, Undersecretary at the South Sudan Ministry of Culture, Museums and National Heritage opened the meeting and encouraged the national team to benefit from Tanzania experience to develop a strong framework to strengthen the CCIs by ensuring direct benefits to artists.

South Sudan is also one of dozen countries benefitting from a new EU/UNESCO capacity building programme entitled “Supporting new regulatory frameworks to strengthen the cultural and creative industries and promote South-South cooperation.” The programme aims to support developing countries with: the development of regulatory frameworks (laws, strategies, policies and measures) for the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs), including intellectual property rights related to CCIs; strengthen skills and capacities to support long-term cultural policy development and implementation that support the CCIs; and create peer-to-peer mechanisms to strengthen institutional capacities for the CCIs through South-South cooperation activities. The EU/UNESCO project in South Sudan is supporting the development of a national copyright policy for the CCIs. The project will also support nation building efforts as well as capacity building of its national authorities through ensuring that the copyright policy is created in a participatory manner.

The capacity building exchange was led by team of experts from Copyright Society of Tanzania (COSOTA) which included the Chief Executive Officer and Copyright Administrator Ms. Doreen Anthony Sinare; Copyright Officer  (COSOTA) Mr. Zephania Lyamuya; Ag. Head of documentation and distribution Mr. Philemon A. Kilaka; and a Legal Officer (COSOTA) Mr. Lupakisyo A, Mwambinga. Based on the areas of expertise, the peer-to-peer exchange meeting focuses on the experience of Tanzania copyright laws and neighboring rights system, the registration of work and membership. The other topics discussed was the Collective Management Organization in Tanzania and what type of CMO would be appropriate for South Sudan. While strengthening capacity of the authorities for the design, the key messages in this meeting included the need for cooperation and collaboration with partners at different levels and awareness raising among stakeholders so that the message of eminent arrival of the South Sudan Copyright policy is well conceived. Lobby with government and policy makers for support of the process of enactment.

At the end of the two days meeting, the take away messages and recommendations for moving forward to complete the process included the urgent need for South Sudan to join World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to strength its international protection mechanisms for the CCIs, to Join African Regional Intellectual Property organization (ARIPO), and encouraged to ratify Berne Convention and become a member of Copyright family and benefit from its advantages.

You are not alone in this process, learnt the good practices, use copyright to advocate for cultural and creative industries” said Ms. Yoshida Reiko, Head of Unit for Diversity of Cultural Expression at the UNESCO Headquarters.  “The policy should response to the national needs and the context of the country,” she added.

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