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UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors help raise $40,000 for ‘Africa Unite’

© UNICEF Ethiopia/2005/Getachew
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo performs at the Africa Unite Concert in celebration of Bob Marley’s 60th birthday

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 8 February 2005 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors Danny Glover and Angélique Kidjo helped raise $40,000 at a benefit concert for  ‘Africa Unite’.  Kidjo, who's from Benin in West Africa, performed and Glover, the world-renowned actor, hosted the UNICEF event on 4 February to help raise money for the construction of the Bob Marley Youth Development Centre in Addis Ababa.

Kidjo also performed at a concert in the Ethiopian capital in celebration of Bob Marley’s 60th birthday.  Both events were part of ‘Africa Unite,’ a partnership between prominent activist entertainers and organisations working on behalf of the world’s children, including UNICEF. 

© UNICEF Ethiopia/2005/Getachew
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo performs before an audience of hundreds of thousands in celebration of Bob Marley’s 60th birthday in Addis Ababa

The concerts followed on the heels of a three day symposium which brought together intellectuals, activists, artists and youth from the Continent and the African diaspora. Speakers included: the Managing Director of the Bob Marley Foundation, Dr. Desta Meghoo-Peddie and President Alpha Konare, Chair of the African Union Commission, and the two UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors, Kidjo and Glover.  The discussions focussed on issues affecting the future of young people in Africa, including HIV and AIDS, environmental degradation and gender discrimination.

© UNICEF Ethiopia/2005/Getachew
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Danny Glover delivers the Redemption Song keynote address at the Africa Unite symposium

In his address, Mr. Glover spoke directly to the youth of Africa: “You have to realise that the world is often harsh and cruel.  Although your parents and leaders gave you the precious gift of life, it is a gift for which each of you must take full responsibility.  That does not mean only protesting life’s cruelties and resisting its oppressions.  In a way that is the easy part.  It means that your principal responsibility is to transform the world into which you are born into a new world of peace with justice.”

Youth participants from Burundi, Cameroon, Djibouti, the Gambia, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania , Ethiopia, and Uganda set forth ten ‘Demandments’ urging their countries’ leaders to implement programmes that address youth issues and most importantly to provide free, quality education.  They were joined by their peers from Jamaica. Over 200 young people contributed to the ideas.

 ‘Africa Unite’ comes in advance of the fifth Africa Development Forum, scheduled for June 2005, which will focus on youth.



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