Daily Archives: July 15, 2017

‘Live Aid’ Concert for Ethiopia Marked Use of Celebrity in Responding to World Crisis

Don’t go to the pub tonight, Irish pop musician Bob Geldof pleaded in the months leading up to Live Aid, the world’s biggest concert that took place on two continents, included 72 rock bands, and raised an estimated $125 million to feed starving Ethiopians caught in a historically severe famine.

Please, stay in and give us the money, Geldof said 32 years ago. There are people dying now, so give me the money.

The pictures of skeletal and dazed, malnourished children gathering in Ethiopian camps set up by aid agencies were alarming. In a 1984 report, BBC broadcaster Michael Buerk described the scene as the closest thing to hell on Earth.

Geldof went to see for himself. In 1984, he organized Band Aid, writing and recording the single Do They Know It’s Christmas, and ended up raising about $10 million in famine relief.

The song also became a hit in the United States, prompting We Are the World, a song written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie.

Inspired by the success of Band Aid and with no end in sight to the famine, Geldof decided to expand the project, coming up with a total rethink on charitable giving.

Why not, he asked himself, turn to his circle of wealthy rock ‘n’ roll pop stars to perform in a worldwide fundraising concert?

It was the 1980s; it was the era of cable music channel MTV; digital entertainment didn’t exist. Given all that, Geldof’s vision was astoundingly ambitious � in fact, seemingly impossible.

The event was held on July 13, 1985, simultaneously in London’s Wembley Stadium and Philadelphia’s JFK Stadium, raising more than $104 million that day. According to Billboard, an unprecedented 1.9 billion people watched the event live on television. Among the acts: Queen, Led Zeppelin, The Who, David Bowie, Madonna, Phil Collins, Sting, U2, Dire Straits, The Cars. The list goes on and on.


The emotional high of Live Aid � its newness, its success in raising so much money to help the starving in Ethiopia � did not come without criticism.

Several reports, including an investigation by Spin magazine and The Daily Mail newspaper, claimed some of the money intended to feed the hungry ended up in the hands of Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam.

Geldof denied all the accounts.

Produce one shred of evidence, one iota of evidence, and I promise you I will professionally investigate it, Geldof is quoted in the Mail report. I will sue the Ethiopian government, who were the rebels at the time, if there is any money missing, for that money back now.”

Source: Voice of America


LUANDA, July 15 (NNN-SANEWS) — South Africa, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo have reaffirmed their commitment to the Tripartite Mechanism, which is a crucial vehicle to regional peace efforts.

The three counties met in Luanda, Angola, for their Extra Ordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Tripartite Mechanism, which was attended by their Foreign Affairs Ministers. The Ministers used the occasion to review regional, continental and international issues.

The Ministers noted with great appreciation the commendable work in the area of peace and security, as evidenced by the successful completion of the first phase of training of army recruits at the Kitona and Mura bases and training in the public order, the Ministers said in a communique issued after the meeting.

The Ministers noted that the security situation in the eastern part of the DRC has substantially improved.

The Ministers commended the pivotal role played by the Republic of Angola within the context of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Republic of South Africa in the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) in the DRC.

On regional issues, the Tripartite Mechanism noted with appreciation the ongoing work by the Southern African Development Community regarding regional integration.

The Ministers also expressed their commitment to African unity and integration within the framework of the Constitutive Act of the African Union. They committed to the peaceful resolution of conflicts, as well as African renewal, specifically through the implementation of the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

The Tripartite Mechanism was established in 2013 through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the Heads of State of the three countries. With the signing of the MoU, the three countries made a commitment to strengthen cooperation in four areas namely, politics and diplomacy; security, defence and public order; economy and infrastructure, and public administration and local government.