Top African Stars Team Up to Score 8 Goals for Africa

By | 31 March 2010

Pretoria – Eight of Africa’s best known musical talents are now lending their voices in support of a United Nations campaign in South Africa to encourage commitment to the achievement of the 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Artists, including Baba Maal (Senegal), Angélique Kidjo (Benin), Eric Wainaina (Kenya) and Yvonne Chaka Chaka (South Africa) have teamed up to deliver a song that will stir our souls and create awareness at individual, community and government levels to re-focus commitment to the MDGs.

A little over nine years ago, 189 world leaders agreed to the Millennium Declaration and committed to the Millennium Development Goals – a set of benchmarks to accelerate human development and halve global poverty by 2015.

Eight African artists (one for each MDG) from across the continent have been contracted to record and perform the song that will be produced by world-renowned music producer, Arthur Baker. The music for the song is composed by Jimmy Dludlu (South Africa), and the lyrics have been written by Eric Wainaina (Kenya).

United Nations Resident Coordinator Dr Agostinho Zacarias has expressed the urgency of addressing the MDGs in light of current challenges: “In the wake of the global financial crisis we are today facing a development emergency and it is now more urgent than ever that the 8 Millennium Development Goals remain a priority and that leaders are urged to take action towards achieving them.”

“For the first time in history, the FIFA World Cup will be hosted on African soil; significantly, the continent least likely to achieve the Goals despite considerable efforts and some progress. The World Cup 2010 South Africa therefore presents an opportune occasion for all stakeholders to consider engaging more robustly on the issues surrounding the 8 MDGs in Africa.”, he said.

The ‘8 GOALS FOR AFRICA’ song is part of an awareness and advocacy campaign developed by the United Nations System in South Africa on the 8 MDGs. Accompanied by a music video, it will be disseminated free of charge locally and internationally, before, during and after the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The performing artists will also make special appearances during the soccer event, promoting the MDGs and calling for action from relevant stakeholders.

The campaign is expected to bring together UN agencies, civil society, the Government of South Africa, development partners, the private sector and the people of South Africa, Africa and the world.

“The UN is very excited to work with Africa’s stars and hopes that this project will inspire everyone to become more involved in heeding the UN Secretary General’s call to action. 2010 is a year of action. Fastracking efforts to achieve the MDGs would be a remarkable legacy of the World Cup” Dr Agostinho Zacarias concluded.

Confirmed artists:

The United Nations is excited and proud to announce the confirmed commitment of the following artists:

  • Baba Maal (Senegal)
  • Angélique Kidjo (Benin)
  • Eric Wainaina (Kenya)
  • Yvonne Chaka Chaka (South Africa)
  • Oliver Mutukudzi (Zimbabwe)
  • HHP (South Africa)
  • Soweto Gospel Choir (South Africa)
  • Mingas (Mozambique)

Hugh Masekela will form part of the recording. Many other artists will be part of the process as it unfolds.

Notes to the editor:

  • Some of the above artistes are already involved in global and regional anti-poverty campaigns (Global Stand Up Against Poverty, African Stand Up Against Poverty and Free the Hungry Billion programmes) and some are already UN Goodwill Ambassadors.
  • Recording of the song begins on 1 April 2010 in Cape Town. A full schedule of artist recording dates can be requested.
  • Other recordings take place in London and New York.
  • The song will be produced by internationally acclaimed, Arthur Baker.
  • The 8 MDGs that global leaders committed to are:

* Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

* Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education

* Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women

* Goal 4: Reduce child mortality

* Goal 5: Improve maternal health

* Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

* Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

* Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development

More information on each of the 8 MDGs can be found in the fact sheet attached, or on the following websites:

For more information:

Lopa Banerjee –
Tel: +27 12 354 80 36 Cell: +2782 210 31 57

Tel: +27 12 354 84 24 Cell: +2783 235 52 08

Tel:+27 12 354 8505 Cell: +27 82 727 7784 Fax:+27 12 354 8501

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