Facebook says it has launched “AfricaTogether,” a digital campaign to encourage vigilance against COVID-19 in partnership with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
Jocelyne Muhutu-Rémy, Facebook’s Strategic Media Partnerships Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, said on Monday that as part of the launch, there would be a digital campaign across Africa and a two-day festival on June 4 and June 5 featuring artists.
“With about 100,000 Covid-19 cases on the continent and containment measures easing in many countries, ‘AfricaTogether’ combines musical and comedy performances with information from COVID-19 first responders and fact-checkers from across Africa.
“It will include a festival with performances by artists such as Femi Kuti, Ferre Gola, Salatiel, Serge Beynaud, Patoranking, Aramide and Youssou N’dour.
“There will also be a digital awareness campaign with prevention messages developed with Red Cross and Red Crescent health experts targeting simultaneously Facebook users in 48 countries across sub-Saharan Africa.
“The event will be streamed on Facebook Live on June 4 in English and hosted by the Nigerian popular actor and comedian Basketmouth and in French on June 5 by the renowned media personality Claudy Siar, ” Muhutu-Rémy said in a statement.
She said to watch the live shows, viewers could tune in to the Facebook Africa page, Red Cross and Red Crescent Facebook pages.
“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.
“This event is one of the many ways that Facebook, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are contributing in the fight against COVID-19 across the continent.
”Facebook continues to work with governments across Sub-Saharan Africa, including partnering with organisations such as health agencies and NGOs to share accurate information about the situation of COVID-19,” she added.
Mamadou Sow, a long-serving member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, said the COVID-19 pandemic was an unprecedented crisis, noting that it was affecting everyone regardless of 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,” Sow said.
He further said with a network of more than 1.5 million volunteers and staff across the continent, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement was on the frontlines of combating COVID-19 in communities through information campaigns.