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AFRICA UNITE COMES TO SA (article first published : 2006-09-12)

The efforts of the Bob Marley and Rita Marley Foundations are giving life to the words of Bob Marley's song Africa Unite. Sponsoring a series of events each year in a different country in the African continent, the goal of uniting Africa is becoming a reality. In 2005 it was Ethiopia. This year the proceedings took place in Ghana West Africa. In 2007 it is the turn of South Africa with three concerts taking place in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg as well as symposiums, fund raisers and events. The concerts will feature the Marley family as well as international and local artists.

On behalf of The Bob and Rita Marley Foundations, Mrs Rita Marley announced at a recent press conference in South Africa that in February 2007 they will bring Africa Unite 2007 to South Africa. Through a series of benefit concerts, symposiums, fund raisers and events, Africa Unite 2007 will encourage peace, education and empowerment for youth in Africa while reinforcing the significance of Bob Marley's Songs of Freedom to manifest change throughout the world. Africa Unite 2007 is Executive Directed by Mrs Rita Marley and Executive Produced by Christine Hansen and Thirty-Three Productions, Inc.

This year, Africa Unite will join forces with the Emerging Leadership Programme, initiated by the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre, which honours the peacemaker and iconic Nobel Peace Laureate. The Emerging Leadership Programme grooms young leaders with value-based leadership for reconciliation, transformation and peace in global communities. Africa Unite 2007 will also support the Shanduka Foundation's Adopt-a-School Programme that aims to provide quality education to all African children. It will also support the Ubuntu Institute that is dedicated to the development of young social entrepreneurs on the African continent who are committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Each organisation will contribute their combined resources to Africa Unite 2007 and share in the singular goal to unite Africa through peace, education and empowerment for all people.

"Our family is committed to keeping the legacy and teachings of Bob alive to spread "One Love" worldwide through the power of music, which is a gift from God," said Rita Marley. "I have so much hope for Africa. It is our goal to bring life to the words of "Africa Unite" and aid where help is needed, while creating opportunities and sustainable change for youth in Africa and worldwide."

Africa Unite 2007 will commence on the honour rebel Bob Marley's birthday, February 6, 2007 and continue throughout Black History Month.

The Durban events will include to include Bob Marley's 62nd Birthday celebration and Africa Unite kickoff ceremony on February 6. This will be followed by the Bob Marley Photo Exhibit and Rita Marley’s No Woman No Cry book launch on February 7. On the same day the Africa Unite Benefit Concert will be held at the site where Nelson Mandela cast his first vote.

More information on Africa Unite 2007 visit www.bobmarley.com/africaunite07/ and www.africa-unite.org




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