The government has committed to join efforts with Rwanda’s film industry (Hillywood) to fight piracy in the entertainment industry.
This was announced last week during celebrations to mark World Intellectual Property Day in Kigali.
The Day was marked with public awareness on what intellectual property stands for and how it can be used to accelerate economic development if protected from piracy.
“These are creations of the mind that need to be protected from criminals,” said Emmanuel Hategeka, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Noting that government had put in place friendly policies, including legal framework to protect intellectual properties from piracy, the PS said film is an important industry to the economy owing to its returns.
The biggest challenge in this industry is piracy, but government has placed measures to curb it, he said, citing fines of up to Rwf500,000, and possible jail terms for copyright infringement.
He called upon film producers to register with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), saying government cannot protect what it doesn’t know.
Eric Kabera, the founder and chief executive of the Kwetu Film Institute, said there is still a long journey ahead, but with commitment and passion from the young producers and actors the future is bright for the industry.
Arlette Ruyonza, the in charge of arts promotion at the Ministry of Sports and Culture, said promotion of Rwandan culture through film makes the product unique to the rest of the world which gives the local industry a chance to survive in competition.