Posted by: APO | 31 March 2014

Africa’s Biggest Music Stars & ONE.org Launch ‘Cocoa na Chocolate’ to Revolutionize Agriculture


 

Africa’s Biggest Music Stars & ONE.org Launch ‘Cocoa na Chocolate’ to Revolutionize Agriculture

 

19 recording artists. 11 countries. 10 languages. ONE message to African Leaders: Do Agric, It Pays!

 

LAGOS, Nigeria, March 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ ONE.org (http://www.one.org) today launched one of the continent’s biggest musical collaborations ever, ‘Cocoa na Chocolate’, in support of a new campaign to boost investments in agriculture: ‘Do Agric, It Pays’ (http://www.one.org/doagric). Nineteen of the top recording artists from across Africa, including D’Banj and Femi Kuti from Nigeria, DR Congo’s Fally Ipupa, Cote d’Ivoire’s Tiken Jah Fakoly, Kenya’s Juliani, and South Africa’s Judith Sephuma, have come together to help rebrand agriculture and tell African youth that their future lies literally beneath their feet—and in their hands.

Download the song: http://www.one.org

 

Photo 1: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=925

 

Photo 2: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=924

 

Photo 3: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=923

 

Photo 4: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=922

 

Photo 5: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=921

 

Photo 6: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=920

 

Logo ONE: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/one.jpg

 

Logo Do Agric: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/doagric.jpg

 

The participating artists are: A.Y. (Tanzania), Bufallo Souljah (Zimbabwe), Dama Do Bling (Mozambique), D’Banj (Nigeria), Diamond (Tanzania), Dontom (Nigeria), Fally Ipupa (DRC), Femi Kuti (Nigeria), Judith Sephuma (South Africa), Juliani (Kenya), Kunle Ayo (Nigeria), Vusi Nova (South Africa), Liz Ogumbo (Kenya), Nancy G (Swaziland), Omawumi (Nigeria), Rachid Taha (Algeria), Tiken Jah Fakoly (Cote d’Ivoire), Victoria Kimani (Kenya) and Wax Dey (Cameroon).

 

These artists are using their voices to inspire young people to join ONE.org, and tell political leaders ahead of the African Union summit in June that the time has come to adopt better agricultural policies that will help tackle youth unemployment, provide better support to small holder farmers, boost productivity, increase value chains, and help lift millions of Africans out of extreme poverty.

 

The song is available for download for free at http://www.one.org after signing the ‘Do Agric’ petition that tells African leaders to invest in our farmers, our food, and our futures.

 

Dr. Sipho S. Moyo, ONE.org Africa Executive Director, said:

 

“These brilliant artists are role models who connect with African youths. Their voices, in support of African agriculture, are sending a powerful message to the young generation: it’s time for African leaders to scale up public investments in agriculture and ensure policy interventions are targeted to benefit smalholder farmers who provide 80% of the food we eat on the continent.

 

According to the UN-FAO, agricultural growth is 11 times more effective at reducing poverty than growth in other sectors like mining and utilities. Do Agric is a continent-wide push to appeal to African governments to commit to spending at least 10% of national budgets on effective agriculture investments—a commitment they originally made in Maputo in 2003—and to do so through transparent and accountable budgets. We are indeed proud and greatly privileged to be partnering with such an inspiring group of individuals to spread the message that not only can Africa feed itself, but it can help to feed the world.”

 

Nigerian music superstar D’banj said:

 

“As African musicians, agriculture is the single most important cause we could champion together and I am proud to say we are doing it with ONE voice. Here in Nigeria alone, while 70% of Nigerians depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, the federal agriculture budget has been trending downwards, and is now at just 1.47%. This is a serious concern, especially because Nigeria spends billions of Naira importing food every year.

 

Through this song, we are calling on youths to go online and join ONE.org, to get more involved in agriculture, and to ask our governments to step up and improve agricultural investments, so that the youths can have a better chance of succeeding in it.”

 

These artists are joining ONE.org to show the current generation of young people that not only can agriculture be cool, but it is also a great way to earn a living. But without strong political will and public support for agriculture, African youth will not be able to take advantage of the potential that agriculture presents. ONE.org is partnering with the popular voices of African artists in calling on political leaders, private sector investors and the youth to “do agric”— because “it pays”.

 

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of ONE.org.

 

 

For further information, or interview requests, please contact:

ONE Africa Media Manager, Nde Ndifonka: nde.ndifonka@one.org / +234 81 00 55 00 76

ONE France Media Manager, Annabel Hervieu: annabel.hervieu@one.org

 

 

About Do Agric:

The collaboration is part of Do Agric, It Pays, (http://www.one.org/doagric) a ONE.org campaign, launched on 29 January in Addis Ababa with civil society partners including the Pan African Farmers Association (PAFO), ActionAid International, Acord International, Oxfam AU, East and Southern African Farmers Forum, ROPPA, Southern African Confederation of Agriculture Unions, the Africa Union Commission, Becho Welisho and the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).  ONE has alos partnered with several grassroots organizations across the continent including Agricultural Non-State Actors Forum (ANSAF) of Tanzania, East and Southern African Small Scale Farmers (ESAFF), National Association of Nigerian Traders

(NANTS), BudgIT, and YPAED.

 

In 2003, African governments committed to spend 10% of their national budgets on agriculture. To date only 8 countries have consistently kept that promise and as a result, agriculture productivity in Africa is stuck at 1961 levels. To change that, ONE.org launched Do Agric, It Pays to pressure African governments to commit to spending at least 10% of national budgets on effective agriculture investments, through transparent and accountable budgets. At the heart of the Do Agric campaign is an effort to push political leaders to adopt better policies that will boost productivity, increase incomes and help lift millions of Africans out of extreme poverty.

 

For more information on Do Agric, It Pays, visit the website: http://www.one.org/doagric.

 

 

NOTES TO EDITORS:

 

•          ‘Cocoa na Chocolate’ was co-produced by Cobhams Asuquo and DeeVee of DB Records. Godfather Productions directed the music video that will launch April 3 on Trace, MTV, Channel O, Soundcity and Canal France International. The verses were written by each participating artist, and the hook was written by D’Banj, whose company, DKM Media partnered with ONE to undertake the project.

 

•          There are 19 artists from 11 different countries in the song: Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Mozambique, DRC, Cote d’Ivoire, Algeria & Cameroon.

 

•          The song and music video were recorded and shot over three days in Johannesburg, South Africa in support of ONE.org’s ‘Do Agric, It Pays’ Campaign.

 

•          Each participating artist wrote his or her own verse.

 

•          There are 10 different languages in the song: English, Arabic (Algerian), Malinke, Lingala (DRC), French, Swahili, Shona (Zimbabwe), Pidgin (Nigeria), Portuguese, & Xhosa (South Africa).

 

•          Agriculture in Africa is an economic game changer: agriculture is up to 11 times more effective at reducing poverty than other sectors such as mining.

 

•          Cocoa na Chocolate marks one of the largest Pan-African music collaboration ever on the continent.

 

•          The collaboration was co-produced by Cobhams Asuquo and DeeVee of DB Records. Godfather Productions directed the music video. The executive producers were Sipho Moyo, Jeff Davidoff, and Nde Ndifonka of ONE.org.

 

•          The song, ‘Cocoa na Chocolate’, refers to the importance of agriculture both to Africa’s future and in the fight against extreme poverty. The example of cocoa is illustrative: while Africa produces tons of cocoa, which it exports it for processing at prices far insignificant relative to the price of the finished product—chocolate—Africa then has to import the chocolate at exorbitant prices.  It is clear that Africa is missing a key economic opportunity in processing and marketing the final product. This must be the future of African agriculture: creating a prosperous value chain that will create more jobs and viable business opportunities, generate better incomes for farmers, and attain productive efficiency that will lead to reduced food prices.

 

 

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS AVAILABLE FOR MEDIA INTERVIEWS

3/31 – 4/4

 

LAGOS,  NIGERIA

D’banj

Femi Kuti

Diamond

Omawumi

Dama do Bling

Dontom

Vusi Nova

Wax Dey

 

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

Judith Sephuma

Liz Ogumbo

Nancy G

Buffalo Souljah

 

NAIROBI, KENYA

Juliani

Victoria Kumani

 

DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA

AY

 

LIBREVILLE, GABON

Fally Ipupa

 

PARIS

Tiken Jah Fakoly

Rachid Taha

 

LONDON

Kunle Ayo

 

 

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS QUOTES

 

D’Banj

“As African musicians, agriculture is the single most important cause we could champion together and I am proud to say we are doing it with ONE voice. Here in Nigeria alone, while 70% of Nigerians depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, the federal agriculture budget has been trending downwards, and is now at just 1.47%. This is a serious concern, especially because Nigeria spends billions of Naira importing food every year.

 

Through this song, we are calling on youths to go online and join ONE.org, to get more involved in agriculture, and to ask our governments to step up and improve agricultural investments, so that the youths can have a better chance of succeeding in it.”

 

Femi Kuti

“I think this is the most important project I’ve done in my life because agriculture for me is the most important thing for human beings, so I’m very proud to be part of this and I hope it’s going to be successful.  I think our lives, everything, our future depends on this, so I think we all need to put all our resources, all our energy into this to make it a success.”

 

Fally Ipupa

“It is a very important project. It is important for us to tell the African youth to grow hectares so we can have good and organic food. And so we can maybe one day export, pondu, saka saka and other African dishes the same way we export music.”

 

« C’est une projet très important. C’est important pour nous d’inciter la jeunesse africaine d’aller cultiver des hectares pour avoir de la bonne nourriture bio. Et comme ça, peut-être qu’un jour, on exportera le pondu, saka saka ou autre plat africain, de la même manière qu’on exporte la musique. »

 

Judith Sephuma

“Farming is really cool.  In our country we have young talented people who are trying to get into the industry like mining.  Meanwhile farming is such a great business to get into, it pays, literally.  Our government has made the promise to support agriculture.  Let’s make them keep the promises.”

 

“This project is about different artists, different genres of music, coming together, saying we stand together as one. ”

 

AY

“In Africa there are a lot of talented artists, we are here to collaborate together and the theme is agriculture. Agriculture pays, agriculture is cool, agriculture is everything. We want to motivate youth and others to invest in agriculture.  If you listen to my verse I’m saying I wish I could have invested in agriculture since way back, but the time is good now, it’s better if I can Do Agric now.  I’m telling them that agriculture is cool and I want to tell you too.”

 

“At the end of the day, let me put 100% concentration in this. Its better to help others, to motivate them, and at the end of the day, Africa is one, so we want to push this.  I’m cool, I’m happy and when I fly back to my country I’m going to motivate guys to Do Agric.”

 

Tiken Jah Fakoly

“This campaign is very important for Africa and for the world.  Normally we should not talk about elementary crisis in Africa because we are strong, have a lot of young people, so thank you ONE.  In the lyrics I am talking to young people from Africa and I say we have to go to farm because we have land and its raining and we have all the things we need for food – we have the possibility to make Africa all about food.”

 

Kunle Ayo

“It’s all about forcing the hands of government to make sure they make do with their words in terms of agriculture.  The project is Do Agric – It Pays, and for me there is no better cause to support than this one.”

 

Dama do Bling

“For me it was an honor, and very fortunately for me to show from Mozambique, my part of Africa, that we all struggle with the same problems, and this song, this video, all the 20 artists just make this one big great voice.  I can say to my country, yes we are a part of this, we have to work and we have to make the politicians change their mind about agriculture.”

 

“My lyrics talk about how to use the land to develop a country.  We know that with a little bit of seed, and water, we can make a developed country.  We can teach our children how to use the land, create jobs, we have fertile land, we can create opportunities for all the people in the country.  Being part of this project we want to show how as musicians we can stick together and show our voice to the world to say agriculture is important.”

 

Victoria Kimani

“I’m a huge fruit and vegetable person and I’m really big on natural foods. My brother is a farmer and outside of that I love the idea of investing in yourself.  I think agriculture is the way forward to be honest with you, not only from a financial aspect, but from giving back and providing jobs.  I think it’s an amazing cause.”

 

“Its crazy because everyone has their own swag, their own style and when you put all that together its crazy because it doesn’t sound purely Kenyan, purely Tanzanian, purely Angolan, its awesome.”

 

“This amazing campaign is all about investing in land and promoting farming.  My little part is to collect together what everyone is saying their own individual dialect.  It’s an amazing effort and it’s all about ONE, so one love.”

 

Dontom

“Lets make Africa great, a beautiful place, put our hands together and support agriculture. I’m trying to let people understand that there is a need for us to improve the potential of our people by supporting Do Agric initiative that is also aimed at agriculture as a means of developing the African economy.  I’m part of history to be part of these artists who are here – I feel elated and glad, its nice to be part of the project.”

 

Buffalo Souljah

“We are trying to convince the youths that farming is cool, so I try and bring something from my country and my originality too which is really nice.

 

I just went in there to put in the Zimbabwe flavour.  I’m a reggae dancehall artist but when you are trying to pass a message and representing your nation, you need to have sounds of Zim – so a bit of dancehall with the GT home village type of song. ”

 

Liz Ogumbo

“I really believe that if we spend more time reaping in our backyards, farming, and putting our resources together to allow the farming side to happen, then we are going to be saving a lot and build the economy.

 

As a fashion designer I want to wear my blue jeans and make sure that I can be able to get it from my garden – If I can grow that cotton in the village and then come to the city and use that same cotton to manufacture what I’m doing as a fashion designer then I am playing a big role within the economy and that’s what Do Agric is all about.”

 

Nancy G

“My lines in this song are about the future, growth and connecting seeds with life and understanding the relationship between them.”

 

 

About ONE.org

ONE.org (http://www.one.org) is a campaigning and advocacy organization of nearly 4 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Strictly nonpartisan, we raise public awareness and press political leaders to combat AIDS and preventable diseases, increase investments in agriculture and nutrition, and demand greater transparency in poverty-fighting programs. ONE.org is not a grant-making organization and does not solicit funding from the public or receive government funding. We achieve change through advocacy. Our teams in Washington, D.C., London, Johannesburg, Brussels, Berlin, and Paris – and soon in Abuja – educate and lobby governments to shape policy solutions that save and improve millions of lives. To learn more, go to http://www.one.org.

 

SOURCE

ONE.org


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