Musicians Union of Malawi (MUM) is among top 10 groupings in Africa that will continue to benefit from the Swedish Music Federation (SMF) following its outstanding performance.

This was revealed at the just ended conference for the development of musicians’ union in Africa, which was held in Kampala, Uganda. Malawi was represented by MUM president Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango and the union’s women’s desk chair Martha Mituka, according to a brief from MUM.

Mhango (2nd L) and Mituka (2nd R) with representatives from other countries

“We are pleased that MUM has complied with the SMF conditions to continue benefiting from their support. We also had time to plan and discuss some projects with our donor. This is no mean achievement for Malawi,” said Mhango.

While South Africa and Sierra Leone have failed to qualify, Cameroon, Gambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Liberia, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Tanzania and Uganda were successful.

Mhango said the qualification means MUM will continue to work with SMF and receive K3 million annually. But he expressed optimism that the figure will increase next year.

Among other areas, MUM was rated highly at the conference for making strides in the areas of copyright and women participation.

“The copyright issues and establishment of women’s desk were regarded as success stories and many wondered as to how this was achieved. Many unions in Africa are still struggling to uplift the lives and

participation of women,” said Mhango.

MUM’s qualification for the continued support from SMF comes at a time arts bodies in Malawi are struggling financially following the phasing out of Norwegian Embassy’s Cultural Support Scheme which provided stable support to rights holder associations for many years.

Asked about specific projects that MUM intends to embark on, Mhango outlined the fight against piracy, governance, climate change, HIV and Aids, marketing and membership mobilisation as strategic areas.

Commenting on the new focus areas, musician Thocco Katimba said the new Copyright Act should come into force to help curb piracy in the country.

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