Unison interviews Raoul Rugamba from Africa in Colors

Raoul Rugamba is CEO and founder of Africa in Colors, a festival boosts the creative industry of the continent to create a sustainable economy.

The iniciative looks for putting Africa in the map for the creative sector and offers business opportunities for African talents. We spoke with Raoul about the challenges for African creators to access, exposure and grow in the market in the absence of infrastructure, funding or favorable policies.

What do you think are the main challenges that the music sector in African countries is facing today? And in the copyrights area specifically?

African creators/musicians are struggling to have growth environments, exposure, and how to sell their creations on their local markets or on other markets either on the continent or beyond. This is due mainly to lack of infrastructures, favorable policies, and access to funding. 

Mobility is also another major challenge. Access various platforms (festivals, concerts, conferences, etc.) across the continent has been a challenge and obstacle for music industry players, access to new markets is not easy for them. 

Copyrights and loyalty collection are still problematic for these artists. However we are seeing a tremendous growth and positive results by various CMOs across African countries, but it requires more efforts for many of the players of the music industry, be on the public side or the private side, it needs more policy framing and support, more market integration and collaboration, and better investment attractions/incentives. 

How do you think that technology could bring solutions to those challenges?

Everything starts with data. Blockchain is no more the next big thing, it is the big thing. We are talking about Data: its privacy counts and it is important to people and their security to leverage on what the blockchain has to offer. This platform is about that, and I encourage everyone creators to be part of this. It is also important to these creators to be part of this network, it will allow them to tap into new opportunities, access new markets, collect their royalties from markets they wouldn’t be able to do by themselves or via some CMOs.

What is your projection of the evolution of recorded music and copyrights generation for the next few years in Africa?

Several projects are undergoing across Africa in terms of enhancing infrastructures, artists mobility, increasing collaboration and creating bridges between Africa and the rest of the world. These environments will allow the music industry to grow, have more musicians, more talents and more recordings made out of Africa by Africans. By bringing together the two parties, the public and private sectors, it will increase collection of royalties for these artists, but also, collection of those royalties beyond their main markets.  

How do you think that Unison could support in these next steps?

Unison is coming at the right time: the time where the culture and creative industries across Africa are booming. By having Unison collaborating with CMOs in Africa and other players of the music industry on the continent, we will increase the chances for these artists to create more jobs and revenues for their businesses. 

Unison expertise would also be interesting to tap into, in terms of increasing awareness of the copyright and how best put in place policies that support artists and consumers in terms of royalty collection. 

About Africa in Colors

Africa in Colors is a panafrican project, a catalyst of creating a panafrican cultural and creative industry ecosystem.  It is a network of 26 countries today, 20 countries being on the continent and 6 being outside the continent. The project is run through three main pillars, Education, Collaboration and Access to funding. 

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