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) – 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’. 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.
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 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”.
About Do Agric:
The collaboration is part of Do Agric, It Pays, 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: 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.
For further information, or interview requests, please contact:
ONE Africa Media Manager, Nde Ndifonka: [email protected] / +234 81 00 55 00 76
ONE France Media Manager, Annabel Hervieu: [email protected]
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 educate and lobby governments to shape policy solutions that save and improve millions of lives. To learn more, go to ONE.org.