Minister tasks artistes’ associations to be responsive & transparent
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
and Culture minister has challenged the various executives of the artistes’
associations for the Gambia Collecting Society to work towards strengthening
their bodies by making them more financially viable, administratively
responsive and transparent.
Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie, whose comment came in the wake of the just concluded World Intellectual Property Organisation-sponsored national workshop on copyright development and the economic contribution and performance of the copyright based industries, was speaking recently during the inaugural meeting of the constituted Artistes’ Associations for the Gambia Collecting Society, held at the Alliance Francaise De Banjul, along Kairaba Avenue.
The Tourism and Culture minister described the inaugural meeting as a milestone in the annals of the history of the Gambian arts and culture, saying: “It is the first time Gambian artistes have come together in full fledged organisations as required by the Copyright Act, 2004, ready to be constituted into a Collecting Society.”
While admitting that getting up to this stage has been a challenge, the minister revealed that the various stages of the journey included the enactment of a new copyright law by the government in 2004; the setting up of a copyright office under the National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) in 2008; various stakeholders’ meetings and workshops together with the artistic groups, as well as the facilitation by NCAC of the establishment of the six artiste associations. She then lauded the efforts of the stakeholders, international organisations like WIPO and the government, for all the support during this process.
Jobe-Njie further stressed the need for responsiveness, transparency in
everything, saying that for far too long, artistes have created associations
only to allow them to die. She went on to enjoin them to create more
awareness, raise funds to organise sensitisation programmes of membership,
recruit more members, set up offices to make their associations accessible, as
well as to seek and build international contacts.
She further advised them to educate their membership on copyright issues and other matters relevant to the sectors such as contracts, which she emphasised, are key if artistes are to harvest from their sweat and talent. “As the Gambia Collecting Society, whose sole responsibility will be to collect royalties for Gambian creators, the board will work with NCAC and the secretariat of the society to formulate a blueprint that the Ministry of Tourism and Culture can use to seek government’s support to provide financial support for the Society for at least two years before it is viable on its own,” she stated. These steps, according to the minister, can be reached with the determination to ensure that by the end of this year or the new year 2013, the new Gambia Collecting Society could usher in.
director of the Alliance Francaise de Banjul, Didier Martin, for his part,
thanked the participants and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture for the
support. Martin told the gathering that the Alliance, apart from teaching French language, promotes
culture. He therefore reiterated their commitment and support towards the
development of the inaugural meeting of the constituted Artistes’ Associations
for Gambia Collecting Society.
The president of the Film Producers’ Association, Ebou Waggeh, thanked the Ministry of Tourism and Culture for their support and encouragement that fast tracked the realisation of the Association. Waggeh said the inauguration is a dream come true, saying they have been yearning for this development.
Author: Yunus S. Saliu