Facebook, Red Cross partner against Covid-19 in Africa

Facebook and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement have partnered to launch #AfricaTogether – a digital campaign and two-day festival taking place on Thursday and Friday.

This festival is one of the many ways that Facebook and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are both contributing in the fight against Covid-19 across the continent.

The two-day festival, which aims to encourage continued vigilance against Covid-19, combines musical and comedy performances with information from Covid-19 first responders and fact-checkers from across Africa.

There are more than 100,000 Covid-19 cases confirmed on the African continent and over 4,000 fatalities so far.

The festival 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, according to a statement from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

It said the event will include various artists such as Aramide, Ayo, Femi Kuti, Ferre Gola, Salatiel, Serge Beynaud, Patoranking, Youssou N’dour amongst many others.

In addition, there will be 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.

Viewers can tune in to the Facebook Africa page and Red Cross and Red Crescent Facebook pages.

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,” Snow said, adding that “if everyone plays their 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, said that the Covid-19 pandemic has proven the usefulness of digital platforms in difficult times.

“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,” Muhutu-Rémy said.

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