Liberia’s Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism is calling on state actors to protect the intellectual property rights of African artists. Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe said if they must improve in their careers, they must be protected to enable them enjoy the best of their own music and stop uncontrolled duplications of their songs.
He made the call on Tuesday, 25 October in the Charles Gbeyon Conference Hall of the Ministry on Capitol Hill, noting that for too long Africa has cherished Western culture, including music and Arts, among others more than its own.
“But over the past time we have seen a shift in these things; they are no longer happening; we in Africa are independent now”, the minister. According to him, the Continent is glad to see how African musicians are rapidly improving in their music, arts, and culture, and stressed, “We have to protect our musicians’ talents, because it makes them who they are. Musicians are people that play a major role in promoting peace in any democracy.”
Speaking earlier, Liberia’s Culture Ambassador Julie Endee, praised Liberians for the level of cooperation carried out during the peace process. She told reporters that the recent peace festival held at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium was meant to promote peace in and around the country as was globally observed by the United Nations to mark its anniversary – October 24.
Amb. Endee said it is important for citizens to get involved in preaching messages of peace, saying the theme for this year’s peace celebration is “Kukatunon”, meaning we are one.. “We in Liberia have been show-casing our culture through many activities, including music, we strongly believe that music is a universal language that can unify, and promote peace around the world”, she notes.
Julie said her decision to invite various African artists to grace the celebration of United Nations Day was to provide an opportunity for Liberian artists to form alliances with artists from neighboring countries, including Ghana, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Guinea.
She said Liberia, and the entire African region has come under serious violence, something, which prompted her to have invited those artists here in order to help promote peace thru their various songs and culture. “We did well in all of our initiatives what we need to for the international community to come and help this country with electricity.”
The Culture Ambassador noted that in the absence of cultural activities in the country, there can be no dialogue for peace, saying the essence of involving culture, arts, and music is to set the stage where people can reconcile their differences and think about doing things that will promote peace and move the country forward.”
By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne