BusinessDay

Global Citizen rallies artists to fight hunger, defend planet

International advocacy organisation, Global Citizen, has unveiled some of the artists set to perform at Global Citizen Live events in Lagos, Nigeria as well as festivals in Paris, France and New York City, USA next month in defence of the planet and fight against poverty.

Across six continents, artists who are to play on September 25, will help rally citizens in demanding that governments, major corporations, and philanthropists work together to defeat poverty and defend the planet by focusing on the most urgent, interrelated threats hitting those in poverty the hardest – climate change, vaccine equity, and famine.

In Lagos, Global Citizen is working with the Lagos State Government to create a limited-capacity event in celebration of Nigerians working on the frontline in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu in a statement said: “Lagos State is thrilled to be a part of Global Citizen Live. With the challenges of rising poverty, hunger and vaccine inequity facing Africa, we need businesses and governments around the world to respond to the call of citizens, stand in solidarity with the people of Africa, and commit to defending the planet and defeating poverty and inequality.”

Renowned Afrobeat singer-songwriter and activist Femi Kuti, according to the statement will perform alongside his hugely talented son Made Kuti, as well as superstar acts Davido and Tiwa Savage, at the show, which will be filmed in advance with a fully vaccinated audience.

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“I am honoured to help bring Global Citizen Live to Lagos, as we lift the voices of Africans everywhere. But what is taking place on the continent right now is a tragedy. There is no reason that 1 percent of Nigerians have been vaccinated against COVID while countries talk of booster shots. The G7 urgently needs to donate at least 1 billion doses by September. It’s time for our leaders to lead and act,” charged Femi Kuti.

At the New York City event, Nigerian Grammy Award winner Burna Boy will share the stage with music stars Coldplay, Cyndi Lauper, Billie Eilish, Camila Cabello, Jennifer Lopez, Lizzo, Meek Mill and Shawn Mendes while Beninese songstress and four-time Grammy Award winner Angélique Kidjo will be performing at the Paris event alongside Ed Sheeran, Doja Cat, DJ Snake, H.E.R., Christine and the Queens, and the Black Eyed Peas.

These events are components of a once-in-a-generation 24-hour worldwide event on September 25. Broadcast and streaming partners include ABC, ABC News Live, BBC, FX, iHeartRadio, Hulu, YouTube, TIME, Twitter, and more.

Coinciding with the UN General Assembly in September before the G20 Meeting (October) and COP26 Meeting (November), Global Citizen Live will call on leaders to deliver by September: 1 billion trees planted and preserved to help prevent global temperatures from rising beyond 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels by curbing emissions and supporting 1t.org; 1 billion vaccines to the poorest countries; meals for the 41 million people on the brink of famine.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said: “As wealthy countries are well on their way to reopening and returning to normal life, we now face a two-track pandemic of haves and have-nots. Over 75 percent of the more than 4 billion doses administered to date have occurred in just 10 countries while only 1 percent of people in low-income countries have received a dose. We cannot disregard this gross inequity or become complacent. This remains a global crisis, with emerging variants emanating from under-vaccinated parts of the world continuing to threaten everyone’s lives and livelihoods. It will only end with global equitable access to vaccines and other life-saving medical supplies. That’s why I am pleased to support Global Citizen Live and join Global Citizen in their calls to public and private leaders to share the doses, financing, knowledge, technology, and political solidarity needed to end this pandemic.”

A part of Global Citizen’s overarching Recovery Plan for the World, Global Citizen Live is supported by a corporate coalition, including Access Bank in Nigeria, alongside global partners, Accenture, Cisco, Citi, The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines, Google, Live Nation, P&G, Salesforce, Verizon, and campaign partners WW International, and Worldwide Technology who will engage support from the private sector in driving new commitments toward the campaign’s policy objectives.