It is a great pleasure and privilege for me, on behalf of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), and indeed on my own behalf, to welcome you to the 2023 Africa Copyright and Collective Management Day Celebrations.  This year’s celebration is being organized in collaboration with the Office of the Registrar of Deeds, Companies, and Intellectual Property (CIPZ) and the Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (ZIMURA).

In June 2017, 14 September was set aside as the Africa Copyright and Collective Management Day by the ARIPO Member States Collective Management Organizations at a meeting held in ARIPO, Harare, Zimbabwe, in collaboration with our partners, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) to bring together Copyright and Related Rights stakeholders to engage and raise awareness on Copyright and Collective Management Rights in Africa. 

ARIPO has since 2018 recognised and celebrated this day in collaboration with Member States and its Partners. Notwithstanding the disruption of the creative industry by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a delight to recognize the ingenuity of creators who took advantage of technology to sustain this important industry. The role of CMO’s was also heightened through the provision of financial support to creators in the distribution of royalties.

At the first instance, allow me to acknowledge with sincere appreciation the remarkable support ARIPO continues to receive from the Republic of Zimbabwe. Special thanks to the Chairperson of the ARIPO Administrative Council, Mr. Willie Mushayi, who has consistently supported us in ARIPO initiatives to deliver the mandates we have on Copyright and Related Rights and Intellectual Property as a whole.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (ZIMURA) and the Zimbabwe Council of Copyright Owners (ZICCO).  Your presence demonstrates a strong commitment to shaping Africa's Copyright and Related Rights landscape. 

Ladies and Gentlemen 

You will agree with me that a world without creativity would be boring.  Therefore, it is an honour to be graced by the presence of such accomplished creators and rightsholders. 

It is worth noting that globalization and the internet's borderless nature have provided huge opportunities for creators and posed some serious challenges. These challenges can be translated into opportunities through constructive engagement with stakeholders, increased awareness, and improved current state of affairs, wherein, rightsholders and creators can benefit more from their creativity.

As we celebrate this special day, it is imperative to remind ourselves that the creative economy can help diversify production, build competitive advantage, attract investment, support entrepreneurship and innovation, and promote cultural diversity and well-being. 

Having said that, allow me to jog your memory of the huge potential that the creative sector can offer to Zimbabwe and Africa at large. A study conducted by the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe in 2009 showed that the creative industry contributes 6.9% to the GDP of Zimbabwe while the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) projected the creative economy to reach a global valuation of $985 billion by 2023 and could represent 10 per cent of global GDP before 2030.

As I conclude, I would like to reaffirm ARIPO’s commitment to developing Intellectual Property Rights in its Member States and Africa as a whole. 

I also wish to thank the ARIPO and CIPZ team for successfully organizing these celebrations and implore all participants to share their experiences and offer suggestions for improving Copyright and Related Rights in the ARIPO region and Africa.

With these few remarks, it is now my pleasure to declare the “2023 Copyright and Collective Management Day Celebrations” officially opened.  I wish you wonderful celebrations and constructive engagements.

Thank you for your kind attention!