Cameroon: More artistes confront Minister on controversial law on cultural associations

Since the adoption of the bill on artistic and cultural associations at the just ended session of parliament, major actors…

Since the adoption of the bill on artistic and cultural associations at the just ended session of parliament, major actors and key players in the sector have been raising their voices to bring their own contributions to the plate.

After receiving a first group of artistes over a week ago, the Minister of Arts and Culture Pierre Ismael Bidoung Mkpwatt recently received another group to listen to them, get their contributions as well as provide clarifications on the law.

The delegation made of mostly of urban music artiste was led by Nde Ndifonka aka Wax Dey alongside his peers, bloggers and their legal advisers.

The Minister of Arts and Culture started by stressing the need and necessity for such a law which he said will better structure the sector and guide government to take better decisions that go in the interest of artists in general.

He added that the law will help open up more opportunities to artists even right up to the grassroots levels especially in an era of decentralization as formal associations at all these levels will give artists access to local authority funds to develop their trade at that level.

“There was no structure before (the law was adopted), so this should be a welcome move. I was also satisfied by the fact that these associations, companies, guilds and federations are to be set up by artists themselves, and they will have the rubber stamp of the Ministry(of Arts and Culture) to decide and run their own affairs – thereby giving artists official powers, backed by the state…. We should take advantage of it and organise ourselves now – so that we make the best of this power that we are being given. ” Wax Dey said after the meeting.

For over an hour, they discussed on the various stakes surrounding the law before the artistes made their proposals to the Minister calling for the need of an 80/20 local content quota of media broadcasters and entertainment venues, as well as better management of authors’ and composers’ rights, which they said requires more participation and leadership.

They were told that there is already a regulation in place that allows for 60% of broadcast to local content, and 40% to foreign content, and the responsibility to ensure the strict implementation by media houses lies with the Ministry of Communication.