The International Federation of Musicians (FIM), and the Musicians Union of Liberia (MULIB) recently hosted a four-day national capacity building workshop for the Musicians Union at the Corina Hotel, in Monrovia.
The workshop was sponsored and supported by the International Trade Union Development Co-operation (LO-TCO) and Swedish Musicians Foundation (SMF) through FIM under a programme aimed at Developing Musicians Unions in Africa.
The workshop brought together about twenty-five musicians from Monrovia, Grand Bassa, Margibi, Bong and Nimba counties. Facilitators included, Mr. Thomas Dayan, Assistant General Secretary of FIM, Mr. Ernest Bruce, office in Charge of the Liberia Copyright Office, Mr. Bice Kuffour, the president of the Musicians Union of Ghana, Mr. Kalilu Banja, General Secretary of the Gambia Musicians Union, and Mr. Rob Hooijer expert on Intellectual Property issues, seconded by WIPO to take part in the workshop.
The workshop was also graced by Senator John A. Ballout, member of the Committee on information, Broadcasting, Culture and Tourism, and Mr. C. Alfred Thomas, President General of the Liberia Labor Congress.
Issues covered at the workshop included a review of the main challenges faced by professional musicians in Liberia – social, economic and legal background – and introduction about MULIB: history, achievements and challenges; Basic principles governing a professional musicians union, Union activities: principles, purpose and scope & networking, ways of actions and demands; Internal operations and management: finances (expenses and resources), Good Governance and Internal democracy, constitution, flow chart and distribution of responsibilities, Relationships with local branches / representation of all categories of members, and Prevention and settlement of conflicts;
Union in society: gender equality both at industry and union levels; Establishing the conditions for social dialogue and collective bargaining; Shaping a collective agreement in Liberia; Union policy in relation to HIV/AIDS and Increasing awareness of environment-related issues; General introduction on IP rights and collective management in the field of music, IP rights and collective management in Liberia: challenges and opportunities and the Role of a union with regard to IP rights and relationships with collecting societies.