18 December 2018

Rwanda Wins Unesco Grant to Promote Intellectual Property Rights

Rwanda Arts Initiative, a non-governmental and non-profit organisation committed to the professionalisation of the cultural industries, was awarded over $94 000 from the UNESCO International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD) to develop a common strategy for intellectual property rights in Rwanda's Cultural and Creative Industries Sector.

During the 12th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which took place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, the Rwanda Arts Initiative (RAI) was awarded for a project promoting cross-sectoral collaboration in Culture and Creative Industries and strengthening the role of civil society in Intellectual Property (IP) rights, for sustainable development of the culture sector.

The project, which involves collecting data from public and private sources and organising a national conference as well as an awareness-raising campaign on the importance of Intellectual Property rights, was one of eight initiatives that were approved in the ninth cycle of IFCD funding for the UNESCO 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

The Rwanda project will begin implementation in 2019 and will include trainings and workshops in cultural management and production; management of cultural projects such as exhibitions, publications, concerts and other artistic events, panel discussions and conferences; advocacy for the status and rights of artists; and collaboration with public institutions to better adapt policies and institutional frameworks to the needs and realities of artists and cultural entrepreneurs in Rwanda.

To successfully implement this ambitious initiative, RAI will partner with public institutions working on the administration and enforcement of IP rights in Rwanda, such as the Ministry of Sport and Culture (MINISPOC), the Ministry of Trade and Industries (MINICOM), the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), and the Rwanda Society of Authors (RSAU).

The IFCD, a voluntary multi-donor fund established under a 2005 convention, aims to support the emergence of dynamic cultural sectors in developing countries, particularly by strengthening the means to create, produce, distribute and have access to diverse cultural goods and services.

Since its establishment in 2010, the IFCD has provided over US$7 million in funding to 105 projects in 57 developing countries.

The 9th funding cycle projects were approved by the 24 members of the 2005 Conventions Intergovernmental Committee.

Other countries that will benefit from the IFCD funds include Antigua and Barbuda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Haiti, Mongolia, Peru, Palestine and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The awarded projects, which will each be given a grant of USD 100,000, cover a wide range of areas, from the development and implementation of policies, capacity building for cultural entrepreneurs, to mapping creative industries. The 2005 Convention Intergovernmental Committee also decided that the next call for the IFCD funding requests will be launched in February 2019.

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