Thursday, 23 September 2010


World-renowned African music star Baaba Maal joins the BBC World Service Trust in call for renewed focus on creative use of the media and access to information in combating poverty.
Maal will give an exclusive performance and interview Tuesday, 28 September at Nairobi National Museum to highlight the role of media and communication in combating poverty.
Baaba Maal will speak in support of the work of the BBC World Service Trust, the BBC's international development agency, which uses media and communication to reduce poverty and promote human rights.
"In Africa, the first step to combat poverty is to actively enable people to access the information they need. Education is all about getting information out. We need people to be able to raise their voices and be heard on both local and international issues", he says.
The BBC World Service Trust in Africa works across ten countries - including Kenya - reaching millions of people across the continent with life-changing information on health, humanitarian, governance and livelihoods issues.
It produces TV and radio drama, interactive discussion programmes and provides journalism training and support materials to help tackle a range of development concerns.
This creative use of the media can get messages out and give access to vital information on a scale that conventional methods have simply missed.
"We are delighted to be bringing Baaba Maal to Nairobi", says Caroline Ford, Africa Regional Director. "His passionate call for open access to information, education and innovation, and recognition of the power of the media in facilitating lasting social change is echoed in the work and objectives of the BBC World Service Trust."
"Baaba's is a unique African voice, and we are honoured to be working with him" she adds.
Baaba Maal will perform in front of an audience of invited guests at the Nairobi National Museum, following an interview on his career to date, development interests, and plans for the future by the BBC's Tom Japanni.
"My aim is to reach a new generation of young Africans - Africans who have become connected and want to be a force for change", he says. "In Africa, we use music to learn about our history and social responsibilities and actions. I want to use my voice to make Africa (and African issues) more prominent and to show the rest of the world that Africa belongs at the forefront of the 21st century."