IPA Secretary General, José Borghino, joined counterparts from WIPO, IFRRO and the IAF at a three-day seminar in Dakar, Senegal, from 18 to 20 April.

The seminar was held under the auspices of Senegal’s newly created multipurpose CMO/RRO, La Sénégalaise du droit d’auteur et des droits voisins (SODAV).

Topics discussed included WIPO’s Marrakesh Treaty and the current deliberations of WIPO’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), different governance structures for CMOs, and the global debates around copyright exceptions and limitations.

José presented the IPA’s policy positions on copyright protection and freedom to publish, as well as the IPA’s recommendations for governments around educational publishing and the importance of encouraging local authors and local publishers to deliver educational resources.

He said: "There are many interesting copyright developments happening in Senegal and other parts of West Africa — from anti-piracy campaigns and debates about public lending right, to the setting up of RROs, and more. The Senegalese, in particular, have been fighting tenaciously to create SODAV for almost a decade, and I was very pleased to show the international publishing community’s solidarity with that struggle by being at the Dakar seminar. It’s strategically important that the IPA continues its work with developing countries to help them build the necessary capacity on the ground for a healthy, sustainable and competitive publishing industry. And by the same token, if we are to truly represent global publishing, the IPA must remain open to the views and opinions of a diverse constituency."

Seventy people attended the seminar, including Mbagnick Ndiaye, Senegalese Minister for Culture and Communications, senior management of SODAV, representatives of the Senegalese publishers association and publishers from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Mali.

Other speakers at the seminar included Carole Croella (WIPO), Olav Stokkmo and Pierre-Olivier Lesburguères (IFRRO) and Cécile Deniard (IAF/CPE).

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