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UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Danny Glover chairs Africa Unite Symposium

© UNICEF/HQ04-0770/Bonn
Child landmine survivors in Ethiopia welcome Danny Glover to their school.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 2 February 2005 - The UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Danny Glover chaired the opening of the Africa Unite Symposium on Wednesday in the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. The three-day symposium brings selected participants from the field of academia, art and activism together with a prominent group of young activists and artists from the continent and the African Diaspora.

Speakers at the symposium include: the Managing Director of the Bob Marley Foundation Dr. Desta Meghoo-Peddie, Chair of the African Union Commission Alpha Konare and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and West African singer Angelique Kidjo.

The discussions will focus on issues affecting the future of young people in Africa, including HIV/AIDS, environmental degradation and gender discrimination. The forum will give space to the younger speakers space to present and advocate for their own agenda and help them sharpen their ideas through interaction with seasoned activists and intellectuals.

© UNICEF Ethiopia/2005/Getachew
Africa Unite youth participants take part in the Opening Ceremony Peace Parade outside the Addis Ababa City Hall.

Africa Unite was created by the Bob Marley Foundation and the Rita Marley Foundation, with support from UNICEF and partners. These Foundations provide assistance to organizations aimed at relieving poverty and suffering of babies, children and the elderly. The name ‘Africa Unite’ celebrates reggae legend Bob Marley’s vision for African people.

To mark the 60th anniversary of the superstar’s birth, around 10,000 people are expected to descend on Meskel Square in Addis Ababa this weekend for a 10-hour concert.
With a combination of entertainment and education during the month of February, the organizers of Africa Unite hope to heighten international awareness about the needs for education and health care and about the suffering of women and children of African descent across the world.

© UNICEF Ethiopia/2005/Getachew
The Burundi Drummers and youth participants at Africa Unite performing at the opening day of Africa Unite.

The celebrations began on Monday, with a youth parade for peace and a performance from the Royal Burundi Drummers (The Drums of Makebuko). The Drummers have travelled the globe with their explosive performances, using centuries old techniques which have been passed down from father to son.

Guests of UNICEF for the Africa Unite celebrations, the Drummers represent the traditions and future of African culture. They are also participating in the symposium and will be giving a special appearance at the UNICEF Benefit for the Bob Marley Youth Development Centre on Friday, February 4th.



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