Not so long ago the notion seemed impossible, even ridiculous. But as we edge closer to 2030, that goal of ending extreme poverty is in sight. We’ve learned that we, as global citizens, each have a responsibility to ensure that every single person has access to, well everything — clean water, sanitation, education, equality, everything.
Action begins with awareness. If people don’t know that change is needed, then change will never happen. To that end we’ve created a new series to raise awareness about poverty, #Music4Dev, where we welcome artists from around the globe to share their music using the World Bank as, literally, their stage. By sharing their music these global artists are spreading the word about ending poverty, and inspiring fans to take action. We’ll link to the #Music4Dev performances from this page. The videos will also be available on the World Bank’s YouTube channel. Look for more information about #Music4Dev on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
One of the most successful African music artists in the last decade, Nigerian singer D’Banj, has won numerous awards including Best African Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2007, Artist of the Year in 2009 at both the MTV Africa Music Awards and BET Awards. With over 1.4 million followers on Twitter alone, his social media reach is vast. That D’banj uses his star power to raise awareness for development issues makes him a powerful weapon in the fight against poverty.
Last year, during the African Union Year of Agriculture, D’Banj revolutionized the fight against extreme poverty on the continent. He spearheaded a pan-African campaign that brought together nearly three million African citizens calling on their governments to invest more in agriculture and support small-scale farmers—and it worked. This year, during the 10th anniversary of his music career, he is continuing his crusade against extreme poverty and devoting his attention to the AU Year of Women’s Empowerment. “I believe we can have a world free from poverty, but to do so we must tackle the root causes and start addressing key issues like gender equality and agriculture,” he says. “In order to eradicate poverty, you have to have equality. What’s good for he, is good for she.”
D’Banj is dedicating his new song ExtraOrdinary to all the strong and inspiring women of the world. Do you know a music artist or group that is passionate about using their music to enact change? Have them send a link to their music, streams preferred (i.e. Soundcloud, YouTube) to email@example.com. They should include their name and contact information as well as a short description of what they’re passionate about. In the subject line of the email, please include #Music4Dev. Watch the full video interview with D’Banj, where he discusses in greater detail his work in the past year on agricultural investment in Africa, and how that led him to his current advocacy for gender equality.