By Chris Loka and Sam Banda Jnr
Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) is the only recipient of the second cohort of the Sound Connects Fund, Arts and Culture has learnt.
This means that the number of grantees has gone down in the second cohort unlike in the first cohort where Malawi had three beneficiaries in Tumaini Letu, University of Malawi and Music Crossroads Malawi.
But Grants Officer at Sound Connects Fund Linda Kaoma said the development was no cause for concern but rather indicated that the fund was becoming more competitive.
“So, one’s application has to really stand out. Especially because the fund also has to award other organisations in other Southern African countries,” Kaoma said yesterday.
Implemented by Music in Africa Foundation (Miaf) in partnership with Goethe-Institut, the Sound Connects Fund is a multifaceted initiative that aims to accelerate development and increase the capacity of the cultural and creative industries in Southern Africa by offering financial support in form of grants and comprehensive capacity building programmes.
Cosoma has since received a grant of K100 million that the copyright body will use in digitising about 93 copyright works that are domiciled at its libraries.
Speaking at the opening of the second Sound Connects Fund Grantee Networking and Capacity Building workshop at Sunbird Hotel in Lilongwe on Sunday, Cosoma Board Vice Chairperson Ezaius Mkandawire assured that they will use the funds for the intended purpose to benefit artists.
According to Mkandawire, about 10,000 artists are first-line beneficiaries of the funding as their works are at risk of loss or damage due to the format that they are in.
“Once the digitisation is complete, we will be able to make available the works for online sale. In this regard, we will be able to increase access to the copyright goods on digital platforms and this will in turn increase revenue for artists through sales and better management of their economic rights,” he said.
Sound Connects Fund Monitoring and evaluation officer Priscilla Mwasinga said the fund is aimed at catalysing the creative industry in Southern Africa by bringing sustainability, access to new markets and financing and improving the products.
She said the workshop, which started yesterday and ends on October 1 2022 and has attracted 20 delegates representing the second cohort of grantees, is part of the fund’s capacity building programme designed to support and empower the sub-grantees as they deliver their funded projects.
“As grantees, we hope you will properly manage the funds so as to benefit the creative sector as well as boost the potential of the cultural and creative sector and its contribution to the social and economic development of African countries,” Mwasinga said.
Mwasinga said they are disbursing €953 000 to the creative sector.
Seven countries have been given funds and they are Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia.