Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA) has received a grant of 100 thousand Euros (about K100 million) from the Sound Connects Fund (SCF) which will help the copyright body digitize works of art in its custody.
COSOMA is among twelve grantees from seven Southern African countries – Angola, Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe – which have received a total of 953,000 Euros.
On Sunday, the Sound Connects Fund held a welcome dinner in Lilongwe for about 20 delegates representing the grantees ahead of a networking and capacity building workshop this week.
Speaking during the event, COSOMA vice chairperson Ezaius Mkandawire said the money his organization has received will be used to manage all the artistic works that members of COSOMA members have deposited to the copyright body.
According to Mkandawire, COSOMA keeps artistic works such as music from the 1970s in hard copies and the money will be used to keep over 93,000 pieces of art in digital form.
“So we are going to have a digital server and maybe save the data in the clouds so we don’t lose it,” he said.
“When this data is kept nicely, it is going to be available on platforms where it is accessible. So we are preserving and improving these goods that are deposited to COSOMA.”
He added that artists will benefit from the project because the pieces of art will be uploaded on platforms where people can buy and this is money that will go directly to the artists.
The SCF is an initiative of the Music In Africa Foundation in partnership with Goethe-Institut South Africa and is funded by ACP-EU Culture programme, a project implemented by the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the European Union (EU).
SCF monitoring and evaluation officer Priscilla Mwasinga said the fund targets any registered organisation in the creative industry in Southern Africa.
“The fund aims at bringing about sustainability, access to new markets and access to financing as well as improving the products in the creative industry in Southern Africa,” she said.
This week, 20 delegates representing the SCF’s second cohort of grantees are attending networking and capacity building workshop which will include activities that foster sharing, peer-to-peer learning, team building and networking.
In the first cohort of the SCF, University of Malawi, Music Crossroads and Tumaini Festival were some of the organisations which benefited and implemented projects.