African concert to focus on poverty

African musicians will perform in South Africa next week at a gig scheduled to coincide with the Live 8 rock concerts, which aim to draw world leaders' attention to poverty in Africa, organisers say.

    Musicians from across Africa will perform in Johannesburg

    The 2 July Johannesburg show will feature a line-up of African stars including Mali's Oumou Sangare, Senegal's Orchestra Baobab, and South African performers Malaika, Zola and Mahotella Queens. It will be followed by concerts in Kenya and Ghana later this year, organisers said in a statement on Saturday.

     

    "The purpose of the concerts is to mobilise political consciousness around the issues of poverty and inequality in South Africa, Africa and the world," said Hassen Lorgat, South African spokesperson for the Global Call to Action against Poverty, one of the organising groups.

     

    Up to 40,000 people will attend the show, which will feature a satellite link-up with the Live 8 concerts.

     

    Pressure pop

     

    The Live 8 gigs are being staged by campaigners for more aid for Africa to put pressure on the G8 - the Group of Seven industrialised nations, plus Russia - which is holding a summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, from 6-8 July.

     

    Concert organisers want more
    money channelled into Africa

    Aid and debt relief are expected to dominate the summit.

     

    The concerts are to be held on 2 July in Berlin, London, Paris, Philadelphia, Rome, Tokyo and near Toronto and will feature top acts including Bjork, Destiny's Child, Elton John, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and U2.

     

    A ninth, in Moscow, is a possibility, one of the event's main organisers said on Friday. There is also a show scheduled for Edinburgh on 6 July, the opening day of the G8 summit.

     

    Live 8 organisers were criticised by artists and pressure groups for ignoring African artists when the line-up of stars for the original five concerts in Europe and the United States was announced. A smaller Africa Calling concert will be held in southwest England on 2 July.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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