Facebook, Red Cross launch #AfricaTogether COVID-19 campaign
Facebook and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are partnering to launch #AfricaTogether – a digital campaign and two-day festival on 4 and 5 June 2020 featuring artists from across Africa to encourage continued vigilance against COVID-19.
In a statement released to the media, the partners claim that over 100,000 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed on the continent and with containment measures easing in many countries, #AfricaTogether has been established to combine musical and comedy performances with information from COVID-19 first responders and fact-checkers from across the continent,
According to information supplied, #AfricaTogether will include a festival with performances by artists such as Aramide, Ayo, Femi Kuti, Ferre Gola, Salatiel, Serge Beynaud, Patoranking, Youssou N’dour amongst many others, as well as a digital awareness campaign with prevention messages developed with Red Cross and Red Crescent health experts and targeting simultaneously Facebook users in 48 countries across sub-Saharan Africa.
The event will be streamed on Facebook Live on 4 June in English and hosted by the Nigerian popular actor and comedian Basketmouth and in French on 5 June by the renowned media personality Claudy Siar.
Mamadou Sow, a long-serving member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement said, “The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented crisis in that it can affect us all, and ignores borders, ethnicities, and religions. African communities so far have responded quickly, but the risk remains very real. If we all do our part, we will beat COVID-19. Music is a powerful uniting force and we hope that the #AfricaTogether festival will bring renewed hope and action against this dangerous disease.”
Jocelyne Muhutu-Rémy, Facebook’s Strategic Media Partnerships Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa added: “The spike in the use of online tools during the COVID-19 pandemic shows the social usefulness of digital platforms in difficult times. We are seeing many incredible initiatives from artists bringing their communities together on Facebook Live. The #AfricaTogether campaign will enable people to learn more about fighting COVID-19, while enjoying entertainment from their favourite African performers. We will be spreading joy in a way that doesn’t spread the disease.”
Facebook added that it continues to work with governments across Sub-Saharan Africa, including partnering with organisations like health agencies and NGOs, who are actively using its platforms to share accurate information about the situation. The social network has launched COVID-19 information centres in over 40 countries, which are designed to provide real-time updates from health authorities about social distancing and preventing the spread of the virus.