Well known African musicians, bands and poets have come together for the campaign, "Africans Act 4 Africa" to help raise awareness and funds for the worsening famine problem in East Africa. Youssou N'Dour from Senegal, Sara Mitaru, Nameless, Juliani and Sauti Sol from Kenya, P-Square and Asa from Nigeria, and poet Maya Wegeris from Tanzania are all throwing their support behind the campaign. Sara Mitaru, is organizing the event, and has been using social media to spread the word and call on her other fellow musicians in Africa to help out. “The response has been overwhelming, like nothing I have seen in Africa for the last ten years,” she said. “Everyone’s response has been the same, they want to be involved. We all agree that it is completely and utterly wrong for people here to be dying, when we have the power to change that. ”
The UN has reported it has a shortfall of $1.3 billion of the $2.4 billion needed to help alleviate the suffering. 6 of the 48 countries in Africa have helped, South Africa, Sudan, Namibia, Botswana, Kenya and Ethiopia but the other 42 have not pledged funds yet. “That is simply unacceptable,” said Ms. Mitaru. A fundraising conference is set for August 25th, and the hope is leaders will give generously to the aid groups. They also want to convince countries to invest in long term infrastructure projects to help prevent future droughts from being so disastrous as this one. Oxfam is one of the aid groups involved, and the Pan-Africa director, Irungu Houghton, has said the response so far had been “wholly inadequate. That’s why this campaign is so important,” he said. “It’s a powerful way of showing our leaders that there are issues which are not domestic, but which still require their action. This is a pan-African crisis and the government of Nigeria for example, should help even though the people affected are not the ones voting for you as a Nigerian politician. ”
Individuals wanting to help out with the cause can do these things:
- Use social media to connect and raise awareness by going to the Act 4 Africa Facebook Page.
- Follow the campaign's Twitter account: @africansact
One can also go the campaign's website and help out by recycling used cell phones, volunteering, donating, and many other things. They are also giving away a car in a raffle. Please check out their website at act4africa.org.
Here is a video of many African musicians and bands asking for support in the cause: