By George Kalisa
Rwanda Development Board (RDB) Chief Executive Officer, Clare Akamanzi has said today that the creative industry the country is building is among the major contributors to economic growth and plays a critical role in the creation of jobs.
Akamanzi made the remarks at the workshop on Intellectual Property for Audiovisual sector players held in the capital Kigali ahead of a two-day 2nd edition of Kigali Audio-Visual Forum that opens tomorrow.
The workshop attracted key players in the sector including artists.
Akamanzi said that the Forum is an important forum for sharing Rwanda’s breakthroughs in aspects of infrastructure, legal matters and capacity building along the journey of building a competitive creative industry.
She further said that the creative industry contributes about 10 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product in countries where it is development.
“On average, this sector represents 10% of the GDP in countries such as the US and South Africa,” observed Akamanzi.
“This is why we organize forums like the Kigali Audio-Visual Forum so that we can share with you what Rwanda is doing in developing IP infrastructure, building capacity of the staff in the bar association, judiciary, research institutions to create a conducive environment for the industry,” she added.
Akamanzi said that the process of creating a US$ 30 million Innovation Fund with the African Development Bank and Rwanda Film Office is underway.
She is hopeful that such developments will attract film production activities and development of audiovisual startups in Rwanda while the Kigali Cultural Village boost the market for Rwandan culture.
Financing for people employed in the audiovisual sector was among the pertinent issues.
RDB has also supported the establishment of an ICT innovation centre at Kicukiro expected enhance Multimedia and related mobile application startups.
Explaining Intellectual Property rights of users, the RDB Registrar General, Richard Kayibanda said that there have been efforts to raise awareness in the private sector on the copyright law to reduce unfair use of people’s creative works.
“This drive has led to an increase in registration of audiovisual works as intellectual property from 45 in 2009 to 238 films and 757 scripts in 2019,” said Kayibanda.
Patrick Nyirishema, the Director-General of the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority said reviewing the current copyright laws to spur further development of the creative arts scene was ongoing.
Richard Iyaremye from the Economic and Financial Crime Division at the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) called on the general public to learn more of their rights and push to earn from their work in order to complement his institution’s efforts in building capacities at all levels of prosecution aiming at effective handling of cases on infringement of copyrights.