, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 9 – African musicians and other public figures have now joined hands in an initiative to call on their governments to action over the unnecessary loss of lives through drought and floods.
Through the bid that will largely use social networks like Twitter and Facebook, Africans want to seek continental reforms by push their governments towards the full implementation of basic human rights.
Oxfam Pan African Programme Project Coordinator Anne Mitaru told Capital News on Friday that the initiative, dubbed Africans Act 4 Africa, would be spearheaded by celebrities and citizens across the continent as a wake-up call to governments.
She explained that the bid would use social media like Twitter and Facebook to put an end to famine on the continent.
“There is a food crisis happening right now in West Africa- in Niger, Mali, Mauritania- and northern Nigeria. We must not let it become a famine. We are saying no to hunger as African citizens and we will be tweeting heads of state,” she said.
She added that the bid would be officially launched, on the continent, on December 10 as the world marks the International Human Rights Day and would be using #lastfamine as a trending topic on Twitter.
Local celebrities Juliani, Amani, Sauti Sol’s Bienaime Baraza, Fena Gitu and 14 others also urged the government to set its priorities right. They argued that lives shouldn’t be lost through preventable causes like droughts and floods.
“When people think of Africa they think of hunger and people dying and we need to get rid of that shameful picture. We need to show the true face of Africans out there because we have the resources,” called Amani.
She further challenged African governments to invest in proper dams and irrigation schemes in their countries to prevent droughts and famines in the long run.
Amani argued that if African leaders ridded the continent of corruption and started managing their resources better, then numerous lives would be saved.
“It’s just that our resources are mismanaged by government and it’s time African leaders took responsibility. They need to ensure that we have food banks to avoid this kind of thing happening over and over again,” she said.
Juliani asked Africans to remain vigilant and to hold their countries’ leadership to account.
Mid this year Kenyans used social networks to raise millions of shillings in a campaign meant to alleviate the effects of drought in several parts of the country.
The initiative that used #Kenyans4Kenya brought together common citizens as well as the country’s top brass in the business, political and media fronts. It also saw international bodies chip in in helping feed the starving Kenyans.
Several revolutions including that witnessed in Egypt begun on social media.
Gitu expressed confidence that the Africans Act 4 Africa would witness similar success in the times to come and that it would make African governments heed to the calls of their citizens.
Baraza also reiterated Gitu’s remarks saying African citizens had a huge role to play in realising the bid’s objective.
“Whether it works or not is up to the people. There will be hurdles along the way but we will cross them when we get there. This is an example of the people taking things into their own hands because our governments have let us down,” said Baraza.