The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is partnering Facebook to launch a digital campaign- #AfricaTogether, calling for vigilance against COVID-19.
The movement made this known in a statement issued through the International Committee of the Red Cross on Wednesday in Abuja.
“With more than 100,000 confirmed cases on the continent, and containment measures easing in many countries, #AfricaTogether combines musical and comedy performances with information from COVID-19 first responders and fact-checkers from across Africa.
“#AfricaTogether will include a festival with performances by artistes such as Aramide, Ayo, Femi Kuti, Ferre Gola, Salatiel, Serge Beynaud, Patoranking, Youssou N’dour, among many others.
“It will also include 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.
“The event will be streamed on Facebook Live on Thursday in English and hosted by the Nigerian popular actor and comedian, Basketmouth and in French on Friday by the renowned media personality, Claudy Siar.
“To watch the live shows, viewers can tune in to the Facebook Africa page and Red Cross and Red Crescent Facebook pages.
“To register and learn more about the artiste line up and how to tune in, please visit the Facebook event pages in English and in French,’’ it stated.
“It is 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. If we all do our 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,” it stated.
The statement also quoted, Jocelyne Muhutu-Rémy, Facebook’s Strategic Media Partnerships Manager for sub-Saharan Africa, as saying: “The Use of Online During the Pandemic Shows Its Usefulness.
“The spike in the use of online tools during the COVID-19 pandemic shows the social usefulness of digital platforms in difficult times.
“We are seeing many incredible initiatives from artistes, bringing their communities together on Facebook Live.
“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,” it added.
According to the statement, the event 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.
“Facebook continues to work with governments across sub-Saharan Africa, including partnering with organisations like health agencies and NGOs who are actively using its platforms to share accurate information about the situation.
“It has launched COVID-19 Information Centres in more than 40 countries, which provides real-time updates from health authorities and helpful articles, videos and posts about social distancing and preventing the spread of the virus.
It is neutral and impartial and dedicated to preventing and alleviating human suffering, protecting life and health, and upholding human dignity especially in armed conflicts and emergencies such as health crises and disasters.