Eight of Africaâ?s best known musical talents are lending their voices in support of a United Nations campaign in South Africa to encourage commitment to the achieveme nt of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Artists, including Baba Maal of Senegal, AngÃ©lique Kidjo of Benin, Eric Wainain a of Kenya and Yvonne Chaka Chaka of South Africa have teamed up to deliver a song that â?will stir our souls and create a wareness at individual, community and government levels to re-focus commitment to the MDGs,â? UN sources said Thursday.
A little over nine years ago, 189 world leaders agreed to the Millennium Declara tion and committed to the MDGs — a set of benchmarks to accelerate human development and halve global poverty by 2015.
According to the sources, the 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 of South Africa, and the lyrics were written by Wainaina.
UN Resident Coordinator Agostinho Zacarias has expressed the urgency of addressi ng the MDGs in light of current challenges, saying: â?In the wake of the global financial crisis we are today facing a deve lopment emergency and it is now more urgent than ever that the eight Millennium Development Goals remain a priority and that leaders are ur ged to take action towards achieving them.
â?For the first time in history, the FIFA World Cup will be hosted on African s oil; significantly, the continent least likely to achieve the Goals despite considerable efforts and some progress.
â?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.â?, he said.
The â~8 Goals for Africaâ? song is part of an awareness and advocacy campaign developed by the UN System in South Africa on the eight 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 even t, promoting the MDGs and calling for action from relevant stakeholders.
The campaign is expected to bring together UN agencies, civil society, the Gover nment of South Africa, development partners, the private sector and the people of South Africa, Africa and the world.
â?The UN is very excited to work with Africaâ?s stars and hopes that this proj ect will inspire everyone to become more involved in heeding the UN Secretary Generalâ?s call to action. 2010 is a year of action. Fast tracking ef forts to achieve the MDGs would be a remarkable legacy of the World Cupâ? Zacarias added.