Facebook and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent (IRCRC) Movement have come together to launch #AfricaTogether. The event, a digital campaign and two-day festival, held virtually on 04–05 June and featured artists from across Africa to encourage continued vigilance against Covid-19. #AfricaTogether combined music and comedy performances with information from Covid-19 first responders and fact-checkers from across Africa.
The event was streamed on Facebook Live on 04 June in English and hosted by the popular Nigerian actor and comedian, Basketmouth, and in French on 05 June by the renowned media personality, Claudy Siar. There were 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 IRCRC health experts and simultaneously targeting Facebook users in 48 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa.
A long-serving member of IRCRC, Mamadou Sow, stated, ‘The Covid-19 pandemic is an unprecedented crisis in that it [affects]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’.
The Facebook Strategic Media Partnerships Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, Jocelyne Muhutu-Rémy, noted, ‘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 has partnered with governments across Sub-Saharan Africa, and organisations like health agencies and NGOs who are actively using its platforms to share accurate information about the situation. Facebook has also launched Covid-19 Information Centres in more than 40 countries, which provide real-time updates from health authorities and helpful articles, videos and posts about social distancing and preventing the spread of the virus.
IRCRC have been fighting the Covid-19 pandemic through their support for health care facilities, provision of water and soap, and also through information campaigns.
Source: My Joy Online
Photo source: Stock Catalog