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African artists release album on HIV/AIDS
Tafirei Shumba, ZimOnline
November 22, 2007

http://www.africanews.com/site/list_messages/13545

Thirty-seven musicians from across Africa have partnered with the UN to produce an 11-title musical album to sensitise Africans on HIV/AIDS, poverty, gender inequalities, illiteracy and conflicts. According to a statement from the UNDP office in Bamako, Mali, Thursday, the tracks sung in 18 African languages carry very clear messages on the issues. Five of the songs were on the prevention against the HIV infection, the need to break the silence on AIDS, to fight stigmatisation and discrimination around it as well as to promote human rights. The leading song "Nous sommes les Tam-tams (We are the Drums)" calls on individuals and institutions to get involved in efforts to ensure an "AIDS-free generation" by 2015 and to fight against poverty and hunger. Other songs advocate education for all girls, equal rights and opportunities for women.

The album, as well as a video clip of the top song, has been freely distributed to radio and TV stations in 52 countries in Africa. The album was jointly produced by the UNDP, the United Nations Office of Sports for Development and Peace (UNOSDP), the UN Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations' Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Millennium Campaign. The album was produced by Africa Fête, a Dakar-based Pan-African label led by Mamadou Konté, who died shortly before the completion of the project.

Both the Olympus Company and the International Association of Athletics Federations provided the financial support for the initiative, launched in 2003- 2004 following meetings in Dakar, Senegal, on the relevance of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Africa. Seventeen singers, including legendary saxophonist Manu Dibango, recorded the song "Nous sommes les Tam-tams (We are the Drums)". It was arranged by Boncana Maïga. The singers include Achien'g Abura (Kenya), Mahmoud Ahmed (Ethiopia), Didier Awa di (Senegal), Chiwoniso (Zimbabwe), Manu Dibango (Cameroon), Jaojoby Eusebe (Madagascar), Coumba Gawlo Seck (Senegal), Salif Keïta (Mali ) and Angélique Kidjo (Benin). Others are Habib Koité (Mali), Ismaë Lô (Senegal), Baaba Maal (Senegal), Malouma (Mauritania), Cheb Mami (Algeria), Meiway (Côte d'Ivoire), Yves Ndjock (Cameroon), Youssou N'Dour (Senegal), Koffi Olomidé (DRC) and Saintrick (Congo).

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