Efforts to raise the campaign profile of the African Union’s 2010 Year of Peace and Security have stepped up a notch. This is demonstrated by the esteemed individuals and celebrities who are now backing the exercise. Individuals such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Dr Mo Ibrahim, Hon. Amara Essy and Professor Wangari Maathi are supporting the endeavour, in addition to such celebrities as: supermodel, Waris Dirie, noted musicians Manu Dibango and Angelique Kidjo, along with Chelsea FC footballer Michael Essien.
A24, ‘Africa’s first online delivery site for material from journalists, African broadcasters and NGO’s from around the Continent,’ is partnering with the African Union (AU), to provide communication support for the programme. The partnership will give the AU access to A24’s vast African and international audience, in the hope of spreading the aims of the programme, in addition to news and information.
In regard to the announcement, the AU Peace and Security commissioner, Ramtane Lamamra asserted the importance of communication to the success of the programme: “Communication is a key driver for the success of this campaign; we are keen to ensure that the message of the Year of Peace and Security is carried to as broad an audience as possible … A24 Media offers the Commission just such a platform,” he said. His sentiments were echoed by A24 Media chairman, Salim Amin: ‘As a private sector player in the media, we are responding to the call by Heads of State and Government of the African Union to ensure that Africans have access to information that empowers them to make a positive change towards peace at every level. Due to our wide network, A24 Media is well placed to partner with Africa’s premier organisation to achieve the objectives of this campaign’.
The announcement comes just 34 days before the AU Assembly plans to demonstrate its commitment to peace on Peace Day, scheduled to take place on September 21st 2010. On this day the Assembly will offer activities such as football games, school children will engage in a Make Peace Happen lesson plan and there will be a minute’s silence for peace across Africa.