CIAM Supports Rwanda's First Author-to-Author Training Event

On 25 January, CIAM joined with the Pan-African Composer’s and Songwriters’ Alliance (PACSA),  CISAC and the Rwandan Society of Authors (RSAU) to provide four days of meetings and workshops for local composers and song writers in the Rwandan capital, Kigali. This was the first time that a training week of this kind had been held in the country.

The event began in the RSAU offices, with the local society reporting on its activities and progress since being founded five years ago. Today, the society has around 300 members for whom it plans to start collecting and distributing royalties in the next 18 months. In attendance from RSAU were Epa Binamungu, chairman and Gloriose Uzayisenga, CEO. PACSA was represented by Sam Mbende, president; Chimwemwe Mhango, president of the Musician Union of Malawi (MUM), member of the executive committee of the authors' society of Malawi (COSOMA), and treasurer of PACSA; and Sonia Mutesi-Hakuziyaremye; coordinator.

Attendees also met with Rwandan governmental authorities, including Hon. Julienne Uwacu, minister of culture and tport, and Blaise Ruhima, head of the intellectual property department of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB). The minister said that her government is fully aware of the strong potential of creative industries for Rwanda's economic development. This sector is a priority on the development agenda, she said, assuring the artists of her support. Blaise Ruhima presented the Rwanda Development Board and reported on progress made in the Intellectual Property field since PACSA last visited Rwanda in December 2014. The RDB is currently working with a consultancy firm toward establishing a fee structure for royalties payments.

On the third day, CIAM president, Lorenzo Ferrero joined with Sam Mbende and Chimwemwe Mhango to outline the core principles of royalty distribution to a workshop audience of 60 authors from the fields of music, literature, audiovisual and visual arts. They discussed how the Malawi collective management organisation COSOMA was able to improve its collections thanks to MUM, a strong musicians union. The workshop also highlighted the need for music creators to get some sound advice on how to manage their revenues while various exercises, business cases and discussions enabled artists to better understand a wide variety of issues surrounding their royalties.

On the final day, renown Rwandan artists Abdallah Makanyaga and Cécile Kayirebwa joined with the new generation of music creators to share their perspective. These new artists included Gaël Faye, Dany Vumbi, Mani Martin, Shanel Nirere, Liza Kamikazi, Eric Soul Karengera, Peter Nshuti, Dieudonné Munyanshoza and Clément Iradukunda.

The event closed with CIAM president Lorenzo Ferrero  presenting an overview of his council's recent activity, emphasising the need for artists and creators to speak with one voice.