By John Owoo
Dakar – Senegal
Courtesy – Royal Air Maroc
The question of funding once again became a focal point at the ongoing Dak Art Biennial with experts providing the basis for new mechanisms to be put in place owing to the apparent drying up of traditional forms of funding.
In a packed conference at the plush Pullman Terenge Hotel in Dakar, Javier Guiterrrez, Vice President of the Board of Directors of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers, provided information on the benefits of Private Copyright.
He stated that an effective legal environment is required for private copying levies, which offer creative people compensation for acts of copying that cannot be efficiently licensed or scrutinized by the authorities concerned.
Private Copying can loosely be described as an exception to the authors exclusive right of authorizing the reproduction of his or her work, which allows the person to make a copy of the work for personal use. This is the result of technological advances in mobile phones, tablets and other recording equipment.
Indeed, global collections of private copying levies topped a total of 310 million Euros in 2015 – and notably forming a whooping fifty percent of the local society’s income in Burkina Faso, which is one of the few African countries alongside Algeria that have successfully managed the scheme.
Nevertheless, there were concerns about the suitability of the scheme owing largely to the diverse nature of African economies and the fact some form of laws on private copying exist in some countries, thereby raising concerns of acceptance and effective management owing to lack of applicable institutions in some African countries.
In a related presentation on the financing of arts in the Canadian province of Quebec, Réjean Perron, Director of broadcasting and outreach support to the Quebec Arts and Letters Council provided a deep insight on how the province successfully supports the arts.
He underscored the fact that Quebec prioritized culture in a conscious effort to give expression to the province’s distinct identity thereby instituting various kinds of support mechanisms for the arts.
Perron mentioned the role of banks, cultural investment funds, tax incentives, communication / distribution funds alongside other support instruments that helped catapult the arts scene in Quebec onto the world scene.
Presently, the Quebec cultural panorama is flourishing owing to the dependable financial support for the arts from the government as well as an accessible cultural infrastructure that celebrates artistic achievement through events and award schemes.
Panelists, which include the Senegalese Minister of Culture Abdou Latif Coulibaly and his colleagues from Gambia, Togo, Rwanda and Tunisia alongside participants equally shared experiences from their various countries on the drive to create alternative sources of funding for the arts.
Samuel Sangwa, African director of CISAC, moderated the programme, which forms part of activities marking Dak Art 2018.