in Gambia’s creative industry has recently met to chart a way to start the
operation of an association named Collecting Society of The Gambia.
Supported by ARIPO and WIPO, the mentorship programme attracted consultants from Ghana and Malawi; two countries that have already made headways in copyright law. Gambia has moved to reactivate its copyright laws even though the law has existed for many years.
A renowned musician and vice president of the Copy Right Society of The Gambia Abdoulie Ngum alias Abdul Kabir said the copyright law is meant to empower Gambian artistes.
He made reference to the massive penetration of foreign music on the country’s airwaves, saying Senegal used to largely depend on Gambian music, which is now fading away.
The veteran musician said he is optimistic that with the coming of the new development there will be progress for intellectual property owners in the country. “We now expect to see progress in the advancement of copyright holders in the country. Although copyright law was there since but it was not actively implemented which caused serious losses to intellectual property owners in the country.”
Ben Kwame Nyadi of Ghana Copyright Office explained that the literary industry plays an important role in education, observing that over the past three to four decades the literary industry has been threatened with massive photocopying, especially in educational institutions.
Sheikh Omar Jallow, director of Creative and Performing Arts at the National Centre for Arts and Culture, who is also overseeing the mentorship programme, explained that ARIPO and the World Intellectual Property Organisation supported the mentorship programme.
He explained that there are two tiers of system in the country in terms of implementing Copyright Law that are under NCAC. He held that that unit is mandated to fight piracy and create policy guidelines and an environment to ensure that artiste works are not stolen.