Gambia | MUSIGAM asks outgoing president Yahya Jammeh to leave office

Yahya Jammeh

The Musicians’ Union of Gambia (MUSIGAM) –a FIM member– and the Gambia Association of Music Producers and Promotors (GAMPP) have issued a joint press release calling on outgoing president Yahya Jammeh to reconsider his decision to reject the result of the elections held on 2 December 2016. The two organisations fear that not respecting the verdict of the poll will spark off disturbances and violence.

To begin with, Mr Jammeh recognized his defeat, after twenty-two years of office, and congratulated his opponent, Mr Adama Barrow.
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Africa | Regional Conference to enhance empowerment of musicians’ unions

FIM regional con. | Entebbe 2016

Entebbe, 5-8 December 2016

With the backing of Swedish organisations SMF and Union to Union, FIM organised a regional conference with the Ugandan Musicians’ Union (UMU) to enhance empowerment of musicians’ unions. The conference was attended by representatives from fifteen African countries.

The respective projects of FIM and SMF were presented and assessed for the period from 2013-16. Tangible results were measured in all countries covered by these projects: Togo, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Malawi.
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Africa | Union reshaping underway in Zimbabwe?

FIM workshop Zimbabwe

With the TUMAI union, FIM organised a union training workshop in Harare (Zimbabwe) from 21 to 24 September 2016, with the support of Union To Union. Two local musicians’ unions took part: TUMAI (recently a FIM member once more) and ZIMU (created in 2014).

Unfortunately, TUMAI has had to come to terms with the sudden demise of its General Secretary, George Emmanuel, who was actively engaged in preparing this meeting.

The workshop focused on union organisation and action. The current backdrop is particularly difficult:
• artists are not backed by public authorities
• related rights in copyright are not enshrined in law
• levies due by broadcasters are not paid or are paid at a ridiculously low rate
• the level of piracy is such that the country’s largest record company, Gramma, cannot sell off its CDs even at the price of $1, since pirates are flooding the market with compilations at 50 cents!
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Cameroon | The complaint lodged by FIM and SYCAMU at ILO has made the government give way

SYCAMU

Via order of 12 February 2016, the Cameroon government raised the suspension order on SYCAMU. This order was the subject of the complaint lodged jointly by SYCAMU and FIM to the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association.

The decision intervened very quickly after the government received notification from ILO of the complaint against it, a complaint it judged sufficiently relevant and serious not to go any further down the road.

The decision of the Cameroon government is a relief for FIM and SYCAMU, which can now resume its activities serving the country’s music artists.
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Egypt | Union president Hani Shaker suspends six singers from performing

Hani Shaker

Hani Shaker, controversial president of the Egyptian Musicians Union, has issued a decision to suspend six singers from their right to work as artists based on their behaviour during performances, reported Al Arabya News.

Shaker stated that their behaviour was not in line with public morals as they wore “body revealing clothes” and acted “racy” and “sexually suggestive” on stage, including dancing while singing, to “deliberately stir instincts and desires”.

Shaker stated that their behaviour was not in line with public morals

The suspended singers were Karima Gamal Ahmed, Nema Adel known as “Shahd”, Nahed Adel known as “Lamis”, Yasmin Yusri known as “Farah”, Dalia Yusef known as “Sandy”, and Fatma Jaber known as “Fifi”.
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Morocco | The Chamber of Deputies adopts a key Act for artists

Parlement du Maroc

The Moroccan Ministry of Culture, on the one hand, and Communication and Employment Ministries on the other, have just successfully steered the unanimous adoption by the Chamber of Deputies of a bill ensuring essential progress for Moroccan artists, in particular for performers working under short-term contracts.

Reforming Act #91.71 of 2003 on the status of the artist, the text opens up the way for collective bargaining in the sector and, by enabling all performers to have access to social benefits, should help reduce the precariousness which most of them have to face.
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Senegal | SODAV at last authorised to operate

Angèle Diabang | SODAV President

On 4 February 2016, Mr. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, signed the authorization enabling the Senegalese copyright and related rights society (SODAV) to replace the Bureau sénégalais du droit d’auteur (BSDA) [Senegalese copyright bureau], in line with the law of 25 January 2008.

As early as 2008, this law made provision for the BSDA –an organisation under the authority of the Ministry of Culture– to be replaced by a civil society controlled by artists, but it was not until 9 April 2015 that the implementing decree was enacted.
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Musicians’ unions from Central and Western Africa committed to gender equality

Dakar workshop on gender equality

FIM and AMS (Senegalese Association for Music Professionals) organised a sub-regional training workshop in Dakar from 11 to 13 January 2016 on the issue of gender equality in the music sector, financed by Union to Union. This was FIM’s first sub-regional meeting dedicated to this theme. In addition to Union to Union and FIM facilitators, there were also a French expert from the sector and two Senegalese university academics.

Work was opened by the director of the arts and the manager of the cultural sector of the decentralised unit of UNESCO in Dakar.
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