As part of the programme commemorating the life and legacy of Afrobeat creator, Fela-Anikulapo Kuti, the 15th edition of the Fela Debates was held at NECA hall, Ikeja Lagos. Themed “Who No Know Go Know: Leveraging on the Global Rise of Our Creative Economy,” it featured notable speakers from various sectors of the Nigerian creative economy.
Speaking at the Debates, General Manager, Digital Products and Innovation, Airtel Nigeria, Oye Akideinde, delivered a vastly lauded speech that spanned several pivotal topics such as the issue of limited education on the laws governing the businesses of creativity. He highlighted steps that could be taken by the government and practitioners to foster a more vibrant and rewarding creative ecosystem.
“Education empowers individuals with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to succeed in the creative sector. Going by this, the government and educational institutions need to work on curriculum reforms, increased funding, infrastructure development, teacher trainings and partnerships with international creative educational bodies. By solving these issues, education in the creative sector will be enhanced, fostering a vibrant creative ecosystem, and contributing to the economic and cultural growth in Nigeria,” he said.
He further stated that there is a lack of awareness surrounding intellectual property rights, emphasizing that some artists sign away their publishing rights for life without even knowing it. There is an urgent necessity, he stressed, for improved education on intellectual property so that young Nigerian creatives might avoid common missteps and realize the full economic potential of their work.
To bridge the knowledge gap, Akideinde encouraged creatives to harness online platforms for learning, underscoring Airtel’s commitment to promoting digital education across the entire creative sector.
“As a business, we have focused on education as a key area of our Corporate Social Responsibility, and we have several partnerships to ensure digital literacy and inclusion across Africa. One of such partnerships is our long-term Digital Education Partnership with UNICEF that is accelerating the roll-out of digital learning through connecting schools to the internet and ensuring free access to learning platforms across 13 countries,” Akideinde said.
He concluded by underscoring the vital role of all creatives retaining legal counsel, advising that every opportunity for discussion with creatives in workshops or conferences should involve a lawyer’s input.