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Cosoma board, rightsholders brainstorm

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Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) board led by chairperson Charles Sinetre on Tuesday met leaders of rightsholder associations in Blantyre.

The interface meeting saw the board and the rights holders discuss challenges affecting the creative industry as well as map the way forward on the development of the arts.

The other items on the agenda included looking into the issue of offices for associations, strengthening working relations in the new era of the new Copyright Act and mapping the way forward on Cosoma Silver Jubilee celebrations slated for August this year.

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The Cultural Support Scheme funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy came to an end in December last year. Through the Cultural Support Scheme, arts associations have been paying rentals, but their window of funding ends in March.

Rightsholder associations, through Film Association of Malawi President Ezaius Mkandawire, who is also Cosoma board member, resolved to write a letter to culture minister to, among other things, be given access to Blantyre Cultural Centre.

“We wrote the letter and we are still waiting for feedback,” Mkandawire said.

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But Malawi Writers Union President Sambalikagwa Mvona said the issue of arts offices needs to be treated with urgency.

Sinetre said they felt it wise to hold a meeting with leaders of rightsholder associations to improve communication.

“It’s only through such fora that we can look at the past and the future and enhance communication but also create a favourite ground for things to grow. Also on the agenda was the issue of Cosoma’s 25 years celebration in August this year,” he said.

Sinetre also revealed that the Cosoma board would be meeting the Culture Minister Patricia Kaliati, hence they wanted to get the input of rightsholder associations through its leadership.

Poetry Association of Malawi President Chisomo Mdalla hailed Cosoma board for the interface meeting saying it had come at the right time as the industry is struggling.

“As an industry, there is need to do more and let people understand how important the creative industry is to the development of the country. So such meetings are important in that you look into the problems and map the way forward,” Mdalla said.

During the meeting, Cosoma board also looked into some of the developments that have taken place in the industry. These include a proposal to establish a school for the arts, Arts Sacco and Arts Production and Marketing Cooperative which are part of the Integrated Development Arts project.

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