Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture chief director Martin Kadzuwa says he is hopeful that the Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) Board will become operational ‘very soon’.
For some inexplicable reasons, the board has not been functional for over a year. Kadzuwa’s remarks have brought fresh hope that at last the board will start performing its functions.
He said the ministry realises the importance of the board and they are doing everything possible to make it operational.
Kadzuwa said this during a two-day Cosoma Annual General Meeting (AGM) convened in Blantyre.
“”We are expecting that the board will be in place soon although I cannot mention the exact time and dates. But we are hopeful that very soon we will have the board.
“As for the problems and the delay, I cannot say much on that, but suffice to say that the board is really necessary and that we are all hopeful that this board will become functional,” he said.
Kadzuwa also said that his ministry has revived dialogue with arts associations to resolve differences that have so far prevented the setting up of the Arts Council of Malawi whose policy framework was done long time ago.
He said: “There has been some progress. Now we are up again and we are doing something about it. Very soon we should be saying something to that effect.”
Cosoma senior licensing officer Rosario Kamanga said it will be a positive development to have the board in place and functional. He said the absence of the board has seen them working with the board’s ex-official members to approve their programmes.
He said: “We had to make do with what was available because the board is made up by those that are nominated at the general assembly and then we have ex-official members.”
Commenting on the performance of Cosoma in the past year, Kamanga said it has been a fruitful year for the society which has seen them disburse over K60 million royalties.
“The past year has been a success and the biggest highlight maybe could be the amount of money that we have managed to collect. MBC had an outstanding debt in excess of K100 million, but through the taskforce that was established that money has been collected,” he said.
Kamanga also said there have been new initiatives on what is provided for in the law including the implementation of the blank media levy which is money that is collected on devices that copy content some of which have copyright implication.