Cameroun - Politique. Copyright and Neighbouring Rights: PM Calls For Popularization of National Register

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Below is a press release following the Cabinet Meeting of Thursday 29 December 2016.


The Prime Minister, Head of Government, H.E Philemon YANG, chaired an important Cabinet Meeting this Thursday, 29 December 2016 at 9:00 a.m. in the Prime Minister’s Office.

The meeting was attended by Ministers of State, Ministers, Ministers-Delegate and Secretaries of State.

Two items featured on the agenda:

1. A statement by the Minister of Social Affairs on “strategy for developing social entrepreneurship to fight vulnerabilities”;

2. A statement by the Minister of Arts and Culture on “the Reform of the management of copyright and neighbouring rights in the musical arts category”.


Taking the floor after the Prime Minister’s introductory statement, the Minister of Social Affairs stated that social entrepreneurship seeks to fight against social exclusion, as defined by the President of the Republic, by providing support to socially vulnerable persons and contributing to the creation of jobs for inclusive growth. Social entrepreneurship is achieved through private social work and national solidarity.

As regards bodies providing private social welfare, the procedures for their establishment and operation are governed by Decree No. 77/495 of 7 December 1977. This decree covers the activities of any duly authorized association, institution, company or service established for humanitarian and apolitical purposes or created by a natural person to provide material and moral or educational support to persons of any age, sex or race, to families or social groups, in order to promote their development.

National solidarity, for its part, refers to actions and activities organized and streamlined by policies and programmes that seek to provide multi-faceted support to individuals, groups or communities who on their own cannot find solutions to their temporary or permanent vulnerability. As such, national solidarity calls for synergy between the State, civil society, the private sector, and development partners.

Thereafter, the Minister of Social Affairs presented the broad aspects of Government’s Strategy for developing Social Entrepreneurship. These include (i) the promotion of a new dynamics of social work, primarily geared towards greater control over initiatives and reinforced coordination; (ii) the consolidation of a system of national solidarity by facilitating the socio-economic integration/reintegration of socially vulnerable persons, and the promotion and diversification of partnerships for social development.

This strategy will be operationalized as part of the Programme for the Vocational Integration and Reintegration of Vulnerable Persons (PAIRPPEV), implemented under a Convention between the Ministry of Social Affairs and the National Employment Fund. Emphasis is also laid on rehabilitating and modernizing public institutions which provide support to socially vulnerable persons.

Speaking after her, the Minister of Arts and Culture presented a statement on the reform of the management of copyright and neighbouring rights in the musical arts category. He gave a brief historical overview of copyright management in Cameroon, before stressing that the Head of State instructed that this very important sector of activity be reformed to put an end to the constant crises that have plagued the sector for over a decade.

Continuing his statement, he pointed out that the working sessions of the Ad Hoc Committee set up by the Head of Government to resolve this issue revealed that copyright collection societies for musical arts in particular have faced four major challenges namely: (i) their legality and legitimacy; (ii) recurrent leadership struggles between the ministry in charge and these societies; (iii) poor organizational and management skills and (iv) insignificant amounts of royalties.

The Minister of Arts and Culture equally noted that the strategic thrusts of the sector reform cover both legal and institutional aspects. At the legal level, several instruments were drafted to amend provisions deemed obsolete or to supplement others. This is the case with Decree No. 2015/3979/PM of 25 September 2015 to lay down the implementing conditions of Law No. 2000/011 of 19 December 2000 on copyright and neighbouring rights, as amended and supplemented by Decree No. 2016/4281/PM of 21 September 2016.

The innovations of this decree include: (i) the re-organization of art categories subject to collective management, with the possibility of creating a company dedicated only to neighbouring rights; (ii) the requirement for the managers and main leaders of copyright collection societies to be Cameroonian; and (iii) the adoption of common measures applicable to statutes, electoral codes, and general rules of these societies. At the institutional level, several bodies were created such as the Commission for the Control of Copyright Collection Societies which now has a Permanent Secretariat and an Arbitration Committee. Moreover, a National Register for Copyright Owners is being constituted.

At the end of this statement, the Prime Minister threw the floor open for discussions. Thereafter, he instructed the Minister of Social Affairs to intensify cooperation to diversify technical and financial partnerships within the framework of social entrepreneurship and the promotion of private social actions. He also instructed the Minister of Arts and Culture to carry out the popularization of the national register of authors and holders of neighbouring rights, and carry through the registration of artistes with the National Social Insurance Fund, so as to ensure their honourable retirement.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m., after examining issues relating to Government action.-


Yaounde, 29 December 2016

Séraphin Magloire FOUDA,

Secretary-General of the

Prime Minister’s Office