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African Musicians Speak Out Against Global Poverty

Aired July 3, 2005 - 12:00:00   ET


FEMI OKE, HOST (voice-over): Raising their voices. World musicians take to the stage to create awareness and urge action against poverty in Africa. We'll go to Johannesburg and talk to some performers there.

Then, the African stars who say they were snubbed by concert organizers.

The debate over debt relief. Analysts weigh in on the merits of the G-8 plan.

And making a difference. Africans at work fighting poverty in their communities.

These stories up next on INSIDE AFRICA.


OKE: Hello and welcome to the program. I'm Femi Oke. Live 8 is being billed as the largest live entertainment event in history. Ten concerts around the globe -- Johannesburg, London, Paris, Berlin, Cornwall in England, Rome, Moscow, Tokyo, Philadelphia and Barrie in Canada. That's an awful lot of music, and the goal is to raise awareness about the plight of Africans and spur the rich G-8 nations to action on ending poverty. It's a great idea, but it remains to be seen if this campaign will have any impact on next week's G-8 summit.

In the meantime, the artists are concentrating on giving concert goers a very memorable day, and that's exactly what they've been doing in Johannesburg, which is hosting the only Live 8 concert in Africa. And our Jeff Koinange is there -- Jeff.

JEFF KOINANGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello from Johannesburg, Femi, the only venue on the continent dedicated to this Live 8. We can tell you despite the fact that Johannesburg was a last-minute addition to the whole Live 8 concerts, there were several thousands people gathered here today, and they came rocking at several big names, among them world-famous reggae artists Lucky Dube. More on Lucky in a moment.

But first, who's actually listening and watching Live 8 today? Are Africans across the continent going to be watching this concert? We get more from Alphonso Van Marsh.


ALPHONSO VAN MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One of South Africa's hottest groups has got the beat at Live 8 Johannesburg. But many of Africa's most popular musicians, like Senegalese crooner Youssou N'Dour, were not on the stage, and not at the European or U.S. Live 8 venues either. They were scheduled to perform at Peter Gabriel's Africa Calling concert in England today instead.

MELANIE ANSTIE, CONCERT ORGANIZER: We're competing with the Eden Project for some artists, certainly, yeah.

VAN MARSH: South African rapper Zola did sign on for the only Live 8 concert Saturday in Africa. He says the Johannesburg venue may have been hastily put together, but more African groups should have joined him anyway.

ZOLA, MUSICIAN: This is for Africa on the side of the artists, and some people should be brave enough to come and perform in Africa, so that more eyes turn to them.

VAN MARSH: Eyes are also turned to the Mahotella Queens, another group signed up for Africa's Live 8 performance, as well as reggae singer Lucky Dube.

Live 8's goal is to pressure the leaders of G-8 countries to do more to help Africa's economies, by forgiving debts, encouraging development and give more international aid, but there is a perception here that Live 8 organizers planned a benefit for Africans without bothering to include them.

ANGELIQUE KIDJO, ARTIST: We have a huge responsibility, and as a - the power is taken away from us economically and politically. In Africa, the power is taken away from us also in - in the music business, because we're not on the same platform as who is called the big artists, because the media don't give us the - the platform that we needed.

BABBA MAAL, MUSICIAN: Live 8 could too -- it would have been really interesting at the beginning to show to - especially to the young generation in Africa that these things are happening for your continent, for you, and to include them into the process since the beginning.

VAN MARSH: Concert organizers say 56 countries can see Live 8 Johannesburg via satellite, and that African TV stations can air the concert for free, but the irony is that for the majority of Africans who would benefit, electricity, not to mention a TV, are a luxury.

Rapper Zola says that's not the point.

ZOLA: And if Africa stops paying this ridiculous debt to the world, what happens then, the money that they keep on sourcing out, we then start looking into other problems in Africa that can be easily fixed. We can start building our own schools, maybe. Maybe we can start improving our own technology.

VAN MARSH: Technology that brings Zola's music to the masses, and technology, he says, that can help more Africans help themselves.

Alphonso Van Marsh, CNN, Johannesburg.


KOINANGE: And Femi, as the Live 8 concert in Johannesburg continues into the evening hours, the thousands gathered here are waiting for the special guest appearance of former South African President Nelson Mandela, who -- a man who's been at the forefront of the fight against poverty in Africa.

But for now, Femi, a man who needs no introduction, world-renowned reggae artists Lucky Dube, one of the featured artists in this concert today. Lucky, welcome to INSIDE AFRICA.


KOINANGE: Sir, your message today, what's your message coming out of this concert?

DUBE: The message coming out of this concert is, just like everybody has, to stand tall against poverty in Africa.

KOINANGE: Lucky, do you think this message you're trying to portray will be heard by the G-8 leaders meeting in Gleneagles in Scotland?

DUBE: This message must be heard, because it is not just Africa or South Africa talking, but it is the whole world. This takes us back to like a time during the apartheid era, when it was like a problem in South Africa, but the world joined in, and make it a problem of the world. The world started fighting, and we managed, with the help of the world and South Africans, to do away with apartheid. So, this calls for the same efforts.

KOINANGE: When Live 8 was first announced, no venue in Africa was part of the whole concert.

DUBE: Yes.

KOINANGE: Your thoughts on this, the fact that Johannesburg was the last-minute inclusion -- good thing, or just a last-minute thought, you think?

DUBE: Well, whether it's last minute or whatever, but it is a good thing, because now we have a chance as musicians in South Africa to let our voices be heard, because this is the very same music that we used in the past against apartheid. We get a chance now to use this music now to try and make life better for people in Africa.

KOINANGE: The fact that these concerts around the world are involving so many artists.

DUBE: Yeah, man.

KOINANGE: Do you think that finally people around the world are recognizing Africa needs to be helped, needs to be pulled up?

DUBE: It is very much so, because now the world is listening. It is not just Africa doing it, but it's the whole world, with artists all over the world doing this. This sends a very clear message to everyone in the world.

KOINANGE: Bottom line - can Africa fight poverty? Can we stand tall and fight poverty?

DUBE: Yes, we can. There's a lot of things that we stood up and fought for in the past. Even this one, we can stand up and fight for. And maybe after this whole thing, Africa will have to learn to manage its resources. Because it does not mean that Africa is poor because it doesn't have resources to make her rich, but it's just the leaders in Africa cannot - some of them -- manage the resources in Africa. So we'll have to learn, because we're not looking for handouts here. You know, we have the resources, but we just need to learn to manage the resources better.

KOINANGE. Right. Lucky Dube, thanks so much .

DUBE: Bless you.

KOINANGE . for being on our program.

DUBE: It's cool.

KOINANGE: Good luck, all right.

DUBE: As always, thank you very much.

KOINANGE: Femi, the words of Lucky Dube, says we can fight poverty, Africa can fight poverty, hoping that Lucky's message and the message of the other artists will reverberate not only across the African continent, but all the way to the G-8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland.

Femi, back to you.

OKE: Thank you very much, Jeff Koinange, live in Johannesburg.

We'll be going back to Jo-burg in a little bit, but right now we're going to take a break. And when we return, Benin's pop star, Angelique Kidjo. She's going to be on Live 8 and the battle against poverty in Africa. Stay with us.



OKE: South African artist Zola performing earlier in Johannesburg. London's Hyde Park was expected to draw the biggest crowd of the 10 Live 8 concerts; it's the mothership, as it were. And CNN's Monita Rajpal has been there all day. Monita, did Hyde Park -- has Hyde Park lived up to the expectations?

MONITA RAJPAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, I think so, Femi. It's been an amazing afternoon so far, electrifying, if you will. I wish you could be here. There've been some amazing acts so far who's been performing on this stage, and of course the giant screen has been beaming back live pictures of the other nine concerts that are taking place around the world right now.

If I could just get Todd (ph) to get over to see the sea of people that are here. There are some 200,000 people who are attending this concert here in live - in Hyde Park, and of course, we're also hearing word that people are still trying to get in, and it's been last three hours that the concert has been going on.

Some amazing acts have been on stage. U-2, and Sir Paul McCartney, who opened the concert with their - with their number, and we heard also from Dido, who did a duet with (INAUDIBLE) was the most well known African artist around right now, and that's Youssou N'Dour.

And it's been an amazing afternoon. The weather has also held up. You`d be surprised. A bit cloudy, typical London day, but it seems to be cooperating -- Femi.

OKE: It seems almost churlish to point this out, it's such an amazing line-up, and Youssou N'Dour was there performing earlier on today. I watched his performance. But the majority of African artists taking part in Live 8 today are not in London at the main concert, but are in Cornwall. Explain the background to that, and how there are still sour grapes. Is there any kind of bad feeling about the African artists being sidelined?

RAJPAL: Well, yes, that was initially the main criticism, I think, of the line-up when the Live 8 line-up was announced, that there wasn't enough of a representation, that if this was indeed a concert for Africa, then Africa should be here, that it should be representative.

And when we asked Peter Gabriel that question, when we asked Dido that question, and even when we asked Youssou N'Dour that question -- we spoke to him earlier in the week -- they were indeed quite disappointed that there was not enough of a representation of African artists, and there was such a wish - and they all said there's such a rich wealth of artists from Africa that should be up on that stage right now.

Instead, they're in Cornwell, and, of course, you've got the likes of Youssou N'Dour. We've got Angelique Kidjo, we've got Ayub Ogada, who are also performing in Cornwall. That's all part of what's known as the Eden Project.

Now, the Eden Project (INAUDIBLE) that aids to help Africans become self-sustainable. They go there, they teach the townships and villages to become self-sustainable, whether it comes to agriculture, health care - all of that - again, helping them help themselves -- Femi.

OKE: The crowd behind you is absolutely huge. It's very hard not to get caught up in the excitement of this amazing concert. But I'm talking to a lot of people in London, and they seemed to have missed the message somehow. They are caught up in the line-up, and who's going to be there, and the fact that most of central London is closed down.

Do you think people actually know why they are there? Has the message got across?

RAJPAL: There was a concern that because of the amazing line-up that is taking place right now on this stage, that the message of making poverty history would indeed get lost in the music. But people that we have spoken to, they say, you know what, a few weeks ago, before this line-up was even announced - before Live 8 was even announced -- they didn't know what the G-8 even was. Today, they do.

So I think even though, you know, the artists and the authors spoke to those, saying, just listen to people out there, the sheer mass (ph) of people, that's -- that's the power in itself, the power of the message is the fact that 200,000 people are here, millions of people around the world are watching, because that is the strength of the message in itself -- Femi.

OKE: Monita Rajpal live in Hyde Park in London. Thank you very much, indeed.

Now, Monita did mention Angelique Kidjo, the Benin singer and songwriter, and she is one of the performers on the Africa Calling stage in Cornwall, England. She's known around the world and is passionate when it comes to talking about her home continent.

Earlier this week, she spoke to Robyn Curnow about what she hopes Live 8 will accomplish.


KIDJO: It's time that people in the Western world give the microphone to the African people to talk about their own problems. Every time you hear about Africa, it's always disaster. What about the people that do everything it takes, that demand for their life to be lived in - to be lived properly? So, we have to really make this Live 8 concert being perceived positively by the people.

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): What do you think Africans think of all of this?

KIDJO: I think that the African people, most of them don't even know what's going on. Let's face it. And it has been like that for many years. This is not new.

People tend to talk for Africans, thinking that Africans cannot talk for themselves. I give that right to nobody. I can speak for myself. And what I'm sorry about is that none of the African media had been invited on this event.

Just let's forget the artists. We are talking about the future of Africa, being the perspective of the debt release. Do you have to know that the rich countries are doing an effort by relieving some debt? How are they going to know if there's no media to tell them, in many different languages that we have?

People also tend to think that Africa is a country. No, it's a continent. I come from a little, tiny country of seven million people; we speak 50 different languages. From north to south, it's not the same. Who can be able to bring the message to the people more than the Africans?

CURNOW: So, so -- what would you -- in your opinion be the solution? Aid, trade and debt relief, or what - what is that? Africans developing themselves? Is it a combination of all of that?

KIDJO: It's - there's a combination of all of that. And also I have to say that our leaders have been playing a huge part in the non- development of our countries, because there's a say in Africa that if you want to be rich, you have to do politics. All the money that comes in, most of it ends up in their pocket. And the rich countries that send the money, they know what goes on behind the scenes, and they in purpose finance the corruption that take the future of Africa away. Without their complicity, it can't be possible.

We cannot always be blaming the rich countries for our problems when we have leaders that have no political agenda. That doesn't think about their people as human beings, that does not think that good education, good health system increase the economy of the country.

Before anything in Africa, if any Africa needs anything in urgency today, is education, because without education there is no democracy. People will always vote for somebody that come from their region, or somebody that come and give them a big bag of rice. Education is the key. Why education has been sabotaged for so many years? Because if we're educated enough, no one can come and give us those contracts on which we sell our diamonds, on which we sell our oil, and everything.

Africa is rich. Give it back to the African people. We need skills. We don't need only money sending to the pocket of our leaders. We need to be empowered. We need to gain back our dignity.

CURNOW: Thank you very, very much.

KIDJO: You're welcome.

CURNOW: It was wonderful to meet you.

KIDJO: Thank you.


OKE: That was Angelique Kidjo talking patiently about ending - passionately as well -- about ending poverty in Africa. I have a feeling, if you put Sir Bob Geldof in one room and Angelique Kidjo in another room , you'll send them off to the G-8 summit, I think the G-8 summit leaders will be signing their checkbooks pronto.

So, what are the conditions on the ground in some African communities? What is it like, struggling to survive on a dollar a day? When we return, we'll have a report from Kenya.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are all citizens of the planet, and we plead to those more fortunate to help the less fortunate. Please help Africa. Ciaboma (ph). Thank you.



OKE: Ululating gives me shivers up my spine. That was fantastic. Though not at any of the concerts, popular South African singing group, Ladysmith Black Mambozo, is making a passionate appeal on behalf of Africa.

Welcome back to this special edition of INSIDE AFRICA.

So, Live 8 is part of what seems to be a new and concerted effort to fight poverty in Africa. But who are some of the people concert organizers want to help? Here's Jeff Koinange with more.


KOINANGE (voice-over): It's 5:30 in the morning on the outskirts of Kenya's capital Nairobi, and Johnsonny Omura is already up and getting ready for his dollar-a-day job.

Omura is 34, married with three children. He's a grade school dropout, and knows if his children have to survive in today's world, they have to go to school.

He is the sole wage earner in this typical African family. Organizations like the United Nations estimate that two-thirds of Africans live on less than a dollar a day.

Omura's wife is also a grade school dropout. She is a homemaker in this one-room tin shack. The rent - $30 U.S. dollars a month.

After a quick breakfast of lukewarm tea and stale bread, Omura walks his children to school. He can't afford the bus fare into the city, so he has to trek for the next hour-and-a-half to what he calls his office.

It's an open-air car wash, his workplace for the last 13 years. Unlike most developed countries, where car washes are a mechanized drive- through system, here, it's a manual, labor-intensive business.

It's also highly competitive. Scores of unemployed youth in Nairobi find themselves with no choice but wash cars for a living. In a country where unemployment hovers at around 15 percent, Omura says he sees himself as one of the lucky few who have a steady job, come rain or shine.

JOHNSONNY OMURA, CAR WASHER: You know, to get a job in Kenya nowadays, it's so hard. I'm - me, I don't have any other course.

KOINANGE: He has few skills and zero qualifications for any job other than manual labor. With rudimentary tools and a monotonous routine, everything from fetching water from a nearby dirty stream to doing what he says he does best. He makes the equivalent of 60 U.S. cents for an average exterior car wash. If the customer wants the interior cleaned as well, that's a dollar, and for a full wax and polish, that will cost a dollar and a half.

Lunch for Omura is a quick bite, usually maze or corn cob. On a good day, Omura will wash an average of five cars, but there are not so good days as well.

OMURA: On a bad day, I can go empty, a dollar I can make, two, or 1.50.

KOINANGE That's the equivalent of 2 U.S. dollars.

But this is one of the good days. And Omura has washed four cars. He's even had to hire help - something he has to factor into the day's earnings. By the time he takes care of his overheads, his take-home pay for the day is just slightly more than a dollar. But he is grateful to be able to put food on the table in a country where thousands go to bed hungry every night.

OMURA: Children, they don't know when there is a bad day or a good day. Yeah, they must keep going. That is how I survive.

KOINANGE: With his day's earnings, Omura picks up a few vegetables on his way home for dinner, before making the hour-and-a-half trek back to a family eagerly awaiting its breadwinner.

Jeff Koinange, CNN, Nairobi, Kenya.


OKE: Thanks very much, Jeff. I remember, watching Live Aid 20 years ago, and it wasn't just the musicians and the acts that made an impact, it was the stories like that story of Johnsonny and his everyday life, to actually see it, images into my brains. So, hopefully we'll be able to do this with this special one-hour edition of INSIDE AFRICA, give you the background behind the music and the publicity and the hype.

Now, back to the music. And when it comes to African music, there is no biggest star that Youssou N'Dour. He's not at the Jo-burg concert. He actually appeared earlier on today at Hyde Park. But earlier on this week, he talked with Monita Rajpal about Live 8.


YOUSSOU N'DOUR,ARTIST: I was, you know a little bit, you know, disappointed, with, you know, they don't invite a lot of Africans. But you know, I think for the end, we have this - this combo (ph), and everywhere I think is good. And what we think is also we need people watching TV. And if you need people watching TV, you need superstars, you need, you know, big names. You know, all the big names are joined this Live 8.

RAJPAL: What is the power of Youssou N'Dour? What can you bring?

N'DOUR: I'm going to bring, you know, someone who lives in Africa, you know, living day to day, that the problems, all the things we think is the - the reality, and not only the problems, the war or, you know, AIDS or poverty, but also the smile from Africans smiling, and a lot of positive things. I'm going to bring, you know, this dimension, this power.

RAJPAL: Does it anger you that here we are in 2005; and we're still having to fight for people to lead a decent life? Does it make you angry?

N'DOUR: Definitely. I can't understood, I can't understood, you know, why we stay on this position, like the world stay in this position. And what I think is really - we have to act now, we have to act - the leaders, everybody. And this is why I'm really happy, you know, to see - everybody's here involved now. Something is going to begin, what I say is - is not the end, definitely, we have -- we really want to - want to move forward to resolve a lot of problems, but we need people together. And today is not about talking, is about really action.

RAJPAL: Would it be fair to say that you don't want to be asked to do this again in 20 years?

N'DOUR: No, definitely no. Definitely no. I don't want also saying, OK, we bring all the music business, to saying everything is fine. Music is, you know - we can enjoy it, but we know it's a power, we can use it to deliver message, and I hope and I pry all the artists behind this Live 8 are going to deliver message, strong message.


OKE: Thank you very much, Mr. Youssou N'Dour.

The goal of Live 8 is to help people who live on a dollar a day. But is the approach welcome by all? We'll examine that when we return. But first, Youssou N'Dour and Dido performing earlier in London.




OKE: Oh, yes, the irresistible and overpowering sound of the Mahotella Queens, performing earlier in Johannesburg.

One of the goals of the concert organizers is to convince G-8 nations to cancel the debt of poor African nations. Fourteen African nations already stand to benefit from the G-8 debt cancellation plan, but how are Africans reacting to that? Once again, here is Jeff Koinange. He's been sampling opinions in Kenya.



KOINANGE (voice-over): Strumming a song for debt relief, Kenyan musician Samuel Muthee is hoping the leaders of the G-8 hear his plea when they meet to discuss Africa's financial problems in the coming days.

The words are simple - "please, help the African child," he pleads. "Our children are dying of hunger, AIDS and war."

But Muthee insists Kenyans aren't looking for handouts.

SAMUEL MUTHEE, MUSICIAN: We're not asking for manna from heaven. All we're asking is that the world should open up its doors to African products.

KOINANGE: Kenya's debt hovers around $10 billion U.S. dollars. This means most of the country's earnings go towards paying the interest on outstanding loans.

(on camera): Now, there was a time that Kenya was considered the blue-eyed boy of the West. But that was then. Today, the country's track record, both economically and politically, has almost reduced it to a pariah status. And the fact that so far the country has been passed over when it comes do debt relief has some here questioning why it is that the people have to suffer for a country's past sins?

(voice-over): The country was run for 24 years by this man, Daniel Arap Moi. During his rule, donors (INAUDIBLE) funds and accused the government of corruption and mismanagement.

Three years ago, Moi gave up power, and Mwai Kibaki was elected president. He is struggling now to rebuild relationships with the West.

SAM NYAMWEYA, BUSINESSMAN: Maybe it's unfair. I think - I think that the donors are unfair in Kenya.

HARRISON KINTANAH, LAWYER: The African leaders ought to see this as a wake-up call. Because it is the same old game of divide and rule.

KOINANGE: But ask Uhuru Kenyatta. He is the leader of the Kenya African National Union, or KANU, the country's official opposition party. He believes it's time Africa pulled itself up by its bootstraps.

UHURU KENYATTA, KANU: I really believe the focus for Kenya and for Africa, as much as, yes, it would be good to get that written off, as much as it would release resources that would go into the social sector, the health sector, the education sector, ultimately, Africa must begin to learn to stand on its own self.

KOINANGE: An economics and political science graduate from Amherst University in the U.S., he knows a thing or two about debt relief and the conditions attached to it.

KENYATTA: Some of those conditions are positive, some of those conditions might end up continuing with a tag of dependence.

KOINANGE: Kenyan industrialist Chris Kirubi insists conditions are relative.

CHRIS KIRUBI, INDUSTRIALIST: If conditions are to help to improve and to get us out of the mess we're in today, I - I don't see any problem with that.

KOINANGE: And he's quick to add, Africa deserves to be on the front burner when the G-8 meets.

KIRUBI: I believe the world owes Africa some focus, some attention. I think there's a lot of opportunities in Africa.

KOINANGE: But perhaps it's Kenyatta who puts it best with this parting shot to the West.

KENYATTA: It's better to teach a man how to fish than to give him the fish. What Africa needs now is a new line and a hook.

KOINANGE: G-8 countries say they want to make sure they're giving the new line and hook to the people of Africa, not corrupt government.

Jeff Koinange, CNN, Nairobi.


OKE: Senegalese journalist Adama Gaye says the current debt cancellation plan is not good for Africa. He joins us now from our London bureau. Adama, good to see you, thanks for joining us.

In June of this year, the finance ministers of G-8 met and they agreed to wipe out 40 billion worth of Africans' debt. What issues do you have with that plan?

ADAMA GAYE, SENEGALESE JOURNALIST: There is nothing new in terms of debt cancellation or debt reduction. Ever since the Mexican crisis in 1982, the international community, the developed world has learned how to manage the debt issues, and it's like the - the AIDS crisis these days. Since they've discovered antiretroviral mechanism to manage AIDS, the same is happening also in terms of managing the debt. And the debt permissions in Africa - they don't have debtor power, they're not very important to disturb the international community, the economy.

You may even have noticed that when this announcement was made recently, the economic -- the international economy didn't burst. So I believe that this was just an announcement, but I think that the more serious issues of Africa's development have not been addressed, and they need to be addressed.

OKE: And the most serious issues, in your opinion, are what?

GAYE: The most serious issues in Africa's development are, first of all, a question of political leadership. If you look at Africa, some of the countries that have benefited from the debt, they have indebted themselves, owing to bad policies, owing to bad leadership, or owing to the fact that they have not made effort to choose the right policies in their countries.

And the Western world, so far, has not taken a new approach to the relationship with Africa. Five years ago, Africa wanted to have a new approach in its partnership with the Western world, by coming up with what was called the New Partnership for Africa's Development. Unfortunately, what we are witnessing these days, there are solutions imposed, no longer the ownership policies by the African nations, but the policies devised by the Western nations who choose who they want to talk to, who chose what kind of program they want to sort out, like malaria and others. But they have dropped altogether almost the NPAD project, and all the projects that were of interest and important to Africa.

I think we are not yet out of the woods, and the debt cancellation may be just an illusion, because this is nothing new here. In 1985, we had the Baker plan, which was predicated on the same expectation that money would come out from foreign banks to help Latin American nation will benefit from the same mechanism of debt cancellation. Let's wait and see. And the other - the additional problem that African nations may face is that once you get a debt cancellation, who is going to loan you again? And that's another problem that - that is there and is not addressed.

OKE: I think if you want example of where the supporters of debt cancellation will say, this is working -- let's take the country of Tanzania. They were forgiven their loan, they didn't have to pay it off anymore, and the government in Tanzania used that extra cash to make schooling free for primary school children, and so now, apparently, we are seeing 66 percent more school children are going to school in Tanzania because the government is not now having to fund a debt. How can that be a bad thing?

GAYE: But ask - but ask -- ask the opposition of President Mkapa. They will tell you that he purchased a presidential plane, for roughly $40 million, and other expenditures of this kind, OK, in most of the countries (INAUDIBLE) by the debt.

In addition, if you see the global commitment by African nations to change, unfortunately, my feeling is that it is again the same political laundering, announcement that they want to change, but in realities, when you want to do business in Africa, you need to talk to a president, you need to talk to his son, you need to talk to his family, you need not get the proper business climate that is there to facilitate business.

I, of course, you cannot complain about this effort being made by the Western community, but this effort, ever since the end of the Cold War, is no longer linked to ideology, but to the interests back home of the nation. So, everybody knows .

OKE: Let me just .

GAYE: . ever since .

OKE: Let me just add one more thing because we are running out of time. With the debt cancellation program comes an onus on the governments themselves to look at their governance, to look at corruption. How can that be a bad thing? Africans complained about that the whole time.

GAYE: Let's just wait and see, that the corruption issue is tackled. The moment this issue is tackled, I will be very happy, because that will be part of building institutions, of fighting - setting up the proper way forward. But this is not yet seen.

In addition, let's take Nigeria. We've heard recently that the Paris Club has cancelled - is ready to cancel $31 billion. Part of it would lead to $1 billion on an annually basis, in use for fighting poverty. If everybody - everybody knows that many Africans - Nigerians, they have money in foreign bank accounts worth billions of dollars. As long as those questions never are being addressed, the flight of capital, the intellectual flight, and the fact that the proper stakeholders are not involved in the decision-making process. In most of these nations, I don't see changes happening. And unfortunately, so far this has not been addressed, and even if you have debt cancellation, you look at the condition that were created in the 1970s, the - the debt across Africa - it is always there.

OKE: Mr. Gaye, I apologize for interjecting; this is a debate that will be going on all next week during the G-8 summit and for many years to come. It's not going to be solved in a couple of days of concerts and debate. But thank you for joining us very much.

Now, still ahead on INSIDE AFRICA - Senegalese superstar Babba Maal talks about the African efforts to battle poverty. Stay with us.



OKE: Oh, she is gorgeous; the voice is gorgeous. That's Oumou Sangare performing earlier in Johannesburg. Now, when G-8 leaders meet in Gleneagles, Scotland, next week, there will be thousands of anti-poverty activists there, including Senegalese superstar Babba Maal. Earlier this week I talked with Babba Maal about his mission in Gleneagles and the battle against poverty in Africa.



OKE: You're going to be in Scotland for the G-8 summit. Is it possible that music and musicians can influence politicians at all?

MAAL: I think the musicians start to understand now, especially in the West, they start to understand that they can use their name and they can use their power to make things change all over the world.

It's very good to see a little - some people standing - I mean, saying let's do something for Africa, let's talk about Africa, let's talk about how to eradicate the poverty in this continent. I was waiting for this moment a long time ago, like a musician.

And they have to perceive this concert happening, and I hope only that it's not going to be the only one that they're going to do, because when people talk about fighting against poverty in Africa, calling on all the leaders, Bush - from Bush to Blair to all the leaders, even in Africa, and all the people who are saying they're going to do, they're going to think about how to eradicate this poverty in Africa, they should know exactly that Africa is a very big and huge continent with a lot amount of people, a lot of countries, we have diversity. So you see, it's not just the one year that people are going to talk or make plans for Africa. It's going to be decades and decades if they're really sincere to do what they're promising to do. I think they'll take it more seriously and to know how long it's going to take and how investment is people going to do to make it happen.

OKE: And finally let's go back to the beginning where we started. You're going to be in Edinburgh in Scotland for the G-8 summit. What do you hope to achieve by being there?

MAAL: I think to be part in this G-8 summit is very important for me, because it's going to be an occasion for me not to think but to talk, and to -- maybe people want to do a lot of things in Africa, they want to change a lot of things in Africa, and they need - of course, they need advisers from people who knew - who know the continent, from people who live in the continent, from people who are in their daily life, in the contact with the people in the continent, and I think I'm one of them. I'm not just playing in the big halls or traveling all over the world, I play also in big - small villages, and I know exactly what the real expected - expectation from - from this people in this deeper side of Africa.


OKE: Activist, campaigner, spokesman, U.N. ambassador Babba Maal - and singer, of course -- talking about the battle against poverty in Africa.

We return to Johannesburg now, where the Africa Standing Tall Against Poverty concert is taking place. Alphonso Van Marsh has been backstage talking to some of the artists and the concert goers -- Alphonso.


VAN MARSH: I'm Alphonso Van Marsh, back stage at Live 8 here in Johannesburg. It's a great day. The crowds are out. People are enjoying themselves. And joining me right now is Zambian artist Lindiwe. Please, come on in.

Tell me a little bit about why you decided to get involved in this Live 8 concert here in South Africa.

LINDIWE, SINGER: (INAUDIBLE) not to get involved. I come from a (INAUDIBLE) country Zambia, and I've experienced poverty first-hand. I've lived in a compound, and I see how we don't have the healthcare services. The youth have resorted to petty crimes, because they don't - they can't go to school, they don't have any facilities to occupy their minds. So, being asked to perform at a concert that is so important to Africa as this gave me the chance to be on stage and hope that the rest of the world sees Africa through me, as a young person that is coming out, and I just hope we get the message through.

VAN MARSH: Lindiwe, tell me about - some people have criticized that they are not enough bigger name - big name African artists here, that they should be performing in Africa. Do you think that criticism is fair?

LINDIWE. I think (INAUDIBLE) -- I mean, they are ambassadors, the big names have gone out to represent Africa elsewhere. I mean, we have London on the screen there, and you have an African artist there. So they're representing Africa out.

But at the same time, it's also to the advantage of upcoming artists like me to also get a chance to be heard, because it's these new names and fresh blood coming out.

VAN MARSH: Now, there could have been other things to do today on this day, there could have been other venues you could have gone to. Do you - are you happy with the number of people that have come here, are you happy with how things have been turning out today?

LINDIWE: The whole thing was -- organized the show (INAUDIBLE). But I think I am - I mean, I was the first act on, and it was already half- full, and it's packed now. So I think this is the best place, it's very central. New Town is where everybody comes to meet. I think it is the perfect venue.

VAN MARSH: Now, some people would say it may have been last minute, but it just proves how resourceful Africans are. Do you think that is a fair assessment?

LINDIWE: Yes, we're very, very resourceful. If given the chance, given time, place and opportunity, we do make things happen.

VAN MARSH: Well, I thank you so much for your time today. Appreciate it, appreciate it.

Now, a lot of people may think that Johannesburg is the first and only concert going on here in Africa, but actually, this is the first in a series. And joining me right now is Mr. Hassen Lorgat, one of the organizers.

Please, tell me a little bit about what's going to happen next? What happens after today's concert in Johannesburg?

HASSEN LORGAT, CONCERT ORGANIZER: Well, we are connecting globally, but we have to act locally. And you see, we had 10 days to organize this. We are really asking people to organize on the ground, join local organizations, trade unions, community organizations, NGOs so that we can fight for global justice. But we also need to keep our own political leaders accountable.

So, today does - it's just the beginning of connecting us. Some of us don't know what happens in other parts of the world, but in the back, we can see Bono, and they're playing rock, we will have some of our African music, and this is the world, civil society movement speaking out against unfair trade, unjust trade, for the eradication of debt, and for some collective action - increased aid, doubling of the aid, and that with a common message we say, yeah, in the United States of America and the European continent.

VAN MARSH: Now, where else will you be able to see concerts on the African continent?

LORGAT: There are two more concerts in Ghana and in Kenya planned, but I think as a mode of organizing, it's a very useful one. We have not used this enough in Africa, but we should, because we've got such a rich tapestry of music. Babba Maal, Youssou N'Dour, Angelique Kidjo - we've got them all, but they get their pay from Europe and the States.

We need to make sure that our people who create such beautiful music, human rights-orientated music, we appreciate it at home. They can live and earn from home as well.

VAN MARSH: Well, Hassen Lorgat, I thank you for your time today.

LORGAT: Thank you.

VAN MARSH: Appreciate it, good luck with the concert. And you heard it here first, there will be at least two other venues in Ghana and also in Kenya. So a lot of people, the organizers here are saying, it's time to get out and support these artists and support the cause. I'm Alphonso Van Marsh in Johannesburg.


OKE: Thank you, Alphonso. And you know we're going to be in Ghana and Kenya. We can't wait for that.

When we return on INSIDE AFRICA, self-help initiative - Africans at work to eliminate poverty in their community. In 90 seconds' time.


OKE: Welcome back, you're watching INSIDE AFRICA. You are just in time to catch Nelson Mandela on stage live in Johannesburg at Live 8. Let's listen in.





I am pleased to be here today to support Africa standing tall against poverty in concert, with Live 8.

As you know, I formally announced my retirement from public life and should really not be here.

However, as long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality exist in our world, none of us can truly rest.

We shall never forget how millions of people around the world joined us in solidarity to fight at the injustice of our oppression, while we were incarcerated.

Those efforts paid off, and we are able to stand here and join the millions around the world in support of freedom, against poverty.

Massive poverty and obscene inequality, a such terrible (INAUDIBLE) of our times, times in which the world has both breath-taking advances in science, technology, industry and wealth accumulation. We live in the world where knowledge and information .

OKE: And that's Nelson Mandela speaking live at Live 8 in Johannesburg. He was at Mary Fitzgerald's Square -- he is at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Johannesburg, at the Standing Tall Against Poverty concert. I have no doubt people in the audience, though, will be holding up their cell phones and taking pictures of the great Nelson Mandela. Alphonso Van Marsh has the story of how cell phones are changing the lives of farmers in South Africa.


VAN MARSH (voice-over): South African Daniel Mashewa (ph) has got high hopes for his cabbage crop. The farmer works a series of vegetable fields in South Africa's rural Limpopo district. Its countryside so remote and so hot that Daniel's had trouble transporting his produce to city markets before it spoils.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They say it's bad. They just take, throw away.

VAN MARSH (on camera): They won't buy it at all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They won't buy it. They say it's not good. It's not good quality.

VAN MARSH: Last season, Daniel planted more than 80,000 cabbage plants like these, but almost of it went to waste, simply because he didn't have a reliable way to let buyers know his crops were ready.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And tell to him how much cost by SMS .

VAN MARSH (voice over): This season, Daniel's using a cell phone, to text message potential buyers when his crop is ready for the picking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he wants some - some onions, then he just ask me how much it will cost.

VAN MARSH: Now, buyers come to Daniel for delivery.

Daniel's village chief signed his villagers up for the new Telefarming project. It gives free GSM telephones to farmers, who have little access to and little knowledge of agricultural markets.

"We hardly see newspapers around here, and our television is not so well connected because of the distance," he says, "but with the cell phone I can immediately make a call and get the information. It makes a difference," the chief says.

When cell phone company executives came to Mukuleke to check out the Telefarming project, the chief and the (INAUDIBLE) showed up.

The Telefarmers, some proudly displaying their new status accessory, can also use the phones to check out crop prices, even download farming tips from the Internet. The program is based on a Senegalese Telefarming project. It freed farmers from the unscrupulous market middlemen who often rip them off.

DANIEL ANNEROSE, MANOBI TELECOM SENEGAL: It is our great challenge to be. We wish to do it in South Africa for the South Africans, but also from South Africa for the rural Africa.

VAN MARSH: It's all free for now. The phone companies also pay to install the cell phone relay towers. Company executives downplay allegations that they're trying to get the poor hooked on cell phones, and that they will eventually start charging them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The idea that this enables them to be more in control of their destinies, as opposed to having somebody negotiate on their behalf.

VAN MARSH: Village farmers like Daniel thank Telefarming for taking them from the cabbage patch to e-business on the World Wide Web.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This splendid change that I get in my life, I'm a newborn.

VAN MARSH: A newborn who vows to never go to the market with rotten cabbage again.

Alphonso Van Marsh, CNN, Mukuleke, South Africa.


OKE: And that wraps up our special one-hour look INSIDE AFRICA. Until the next time, take care.



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