NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 22 – A group of prominent African and global artists, musicians, and business people have called on world leaders to take urgent action to prevent further suffering and loss of life in the Horn of Africa, ahead of a crucial UN summit in New York this Saturday.
The group which includes well known showbiz personalities Nameless, YoussouN’dour, Angelique Kidjo, 2face Idibia, Hugh Masekela, Freshly Ground, K’naan, and Bono has also urged African and other world leaders to keep their promises to invest in long-term agriculture projects and measures to improve food security.
“A great 21st Century tragedy is unfolding right now. The Somali people are suffering the hardest blow to their bodies and souls. 30,000 children have died in just three months and 13 million people are threatened across Somalia, Southern Ethiopia and Northern Kenya,” they said in a letter written to the UN General Assembly.
The letter has been signed by 57 African influencers and entertainment celebrities together with global celebrities with a passion for Africa.
It calls on the African and world leaders to fill the remaining financing gap in emergency needs for the Horn of Africa, invest more in long term agricultural productivity and food security in Africa, and recognise the governance failures, which have let a drought become a famine.
“They need to invest much more energy and leadership into emergency peace talks,” it goes on to say. “These should, bring together all representatives of Somalia society, as well as regional stakeholders, to give peace another chance and end the cycle of instability in Somalia.”
Senegalese musician YoussouN’Dour said: “From Dakar to Djibouti, the new Africa must unite as one and hold our leaders and the international community accountable for inaction. That’s what we are doing together today.”
South African Jazz maestro Hugh Masekela said: “It will be a great day when most world leaders wake up to realise that they are elected into office to serve the people- that their inaugurations should not be mistaken for coronations. When that realisation takes place, tragedies such as in the Horn of Africa will cease to exist and humanity will finally enjoy the services it deserves.”