The Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA) has reserved P42 million towards the development of capacity, quality and diversity of the creative industries under the Technical Devices Fund.
The fund is financed by a levy on all locally manufactured or imported devices that are capable of copying or reproducing creative works such as photocopiers, scanners, cameras, blank tapes, as well as smart phones.
The Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) collects the levy.
Through the fund, CIPA will financially assist companies that enhance public awareness on copyright matters as well as offer support for law enforcement initiatives while assisting in anti-piracy campaigns.
Earlier this week, CIPA released an advert calling on members of the public to apply for the funding. According to CIPA communications manager, Marieta Magashula, this will be the third open call noting that on the first one about four projects were funded to the tune of P3.2 million, while on the second one the number of beneficiaries increased to 12.
“We intend to hold a minimum of two open calls per year, so that the fund can effectively achieve its mandate of growing the creative industry in the country. The objective of this fund is to see creative industries become a self-sustaining and viable industry with the capacity to create jobs,” she said.
Magashula noted that through this grant, individuals or companies could receive a grant of any amount between P10,000 and P1 million.
“It is important for applicants to show that their budget is realistic and suitable for the project they are proposing,” she said. Magashula noted their desire to see funded projects bring about quality products that are capable of competing internationally noting the projects that were funded before are about to start operations.
“It is also desirable to fund projects that will grow and be self-sustained hence CIPA’s insistence on adherence to the memorandum of agreement and quality of final products,” she said.
Furthermore, she noted the fund was used to set up by the Copyright Society of Botswana (COSBOTS), which is now a self-sustained entity. The Levy on Technical Devices Fund was established by the Statuary Instrument No. 94 of 2008 (the Fund Order). The Fund Order empowers the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry to appoint a Technical Devices Fund Committee to administer the fund.