IFPI and ARIPO sign landmark agreement to support African music rights

8th May 2017

IFPI, representing the recording industry worldwide, and the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO), have signed a landmark agreement that will enhance the rights of African artists and their music.

The Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two organisations will further strengthen the copyright law framework and licensing of sound recording rights across the African continent. This will support African artists and record companies with their rights to be fairly rewarded for the music they are creating and contribute to the evolution of the African music market.

The commitment made between the two parties also foresees further cooperation in areas from capacity building to the development of joint events.

Commenting on the agreement, Frances Moore, chief executive IFPI, said: "The new digital environment opens unprecedented opportunities for African artists and record companies to bring their music to a worldwide audience, provided the copyright laws and the licensing infrastructure is there to support it.

"IFPI and our member companies look forward to cooperating with ARIPO to enable African artists and record companies to achieve their potential and to fully benefit from the fruits of their creativity and investment."

Sean Watson, Managing Director of Sony Music Entertainment Africa, Chairperson of the Recording Industry of South Africa and the South African Music Performance Rights Association said on the development: “If we all work together to create a safe environment for copyright owners and artists to make their music available for fans then everybody wins. This is an important step in that direction.”

The Director General of ARIPO, Mr Fernando dos Santos, had this to add: “We are excited to seal this strategic partnership with IFPI. Our greatest hope is to see Collective Management Organization’s become more pro-active in collecting and distributing royalties amongst the right holders’ whose works have been used and to see users of copyrighted works willingness to pay for the usage. ARIPO with its partners will endeavour to do all it can within its means to best further the cause of capacity building in Africa thereby contributing to the benefits and protection provided for within the African music market.”

ARIPO is an Intergovernmental Organization established to promote the use of Intellectual Property for the development in its Member States. Membership of the Organization is open to all States members of the African Union (AU) or of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). Currently ARIPO counts 19 Member States from the East, South and Western Africa and looks forward to other African countries to be its Member States.

IFPI promotes the interests of the international recording industry worldwide. Its membership comprises some 1,300 major and independent companies in 58 countries. It also has affiliated industry national groups in 57 countries. IFPI’s mission is to promote the value of recorded music, campaign for the rights of record producers and expand the commercial uses of recorded music in all markets where its members operate.

For further information please contact:

John.blewett@ifpi.org / +44 (0)20 7878 7939