Regional experts come together to develop South Sudan’s National Copyright Bill

Cultural and creative industries in South Sudan remain vulnerable without legal frameworks. South Sudan is behind by more than 60 years in areas of policy among the countries in the East African region and the peer to peer learning opportunity with Tanzania in copyright management is a gift to help South Sudan design its policy to support the growing number of cultural and creative industries. Their activities across South Sudan expressed in visual arts, design, media arts, music, performing arts, and publishing need to be rewarded. Mr. Julius Banda, Head of the UNESCO Office in Juba

Between 2020 and 2021, South Sudan conducted several peer-to-peer learning sessions with counterparts in Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda to support the drafting of South Sudan’s first national copyright bill.  This is a main result of the EU/ UNESCO capacity-building programme in South Sudan: "Creating a much-awaited copyright policy for Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) in South Sudan.”

South Sudan’s national team opted for a hybrid format of peer-to-peer learning. Two offline meetings were organised in 2020 and 2021, followed by online consultations with participants on specialised topics. Virtual webinars with Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya were also held where participants were able to exchange materials and share documents.

Experts from the Tanzania Copyright Office shared their experiences in a two-day meeting with South Sudanese national stakeholders from 17 to 18 November 2020, while experts from the Kenya and Uganda Copyright Offices held a two-day meeting from 26 to 28 May 2021. These meetings, organised by the UNESCO Office in Juba, brought together experts and key actors from the CCIs, representatives from key Ministries in South Sudan and representatives from the Kenya Copyright Board, the Uganda Registration Service Bureau and neighbouring rights system, as well as the Copyright Society of Tanzania.

A result of this peer-to-peer learning framework is the creation of a network between South Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda that has potential to support further collaboration between countries. Importantly, the conversations between countries on copyrights triggered a demand for a common African market that would allow free movement of creative labour between the countries involved. 

South Sudan aims to finalise the National Copyright bill in summer 2022.

Find more information on the peer-to-peer exchanges with Tanzania here.

Find more information on the peer-to-peer exchanges with Uganda and Kenya here.