Pop music and poverty
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Wednesday, 23 October 2013 15:30




In a recent article in The Guardian, the connection between pop music and poverty was questioned and commentators mused on whether the public are fed up with celebrities who pontificate on social matters or if pop music can really be a driver of change. 

The Global Citizen Festival which took place in Central Park at the end of September is a case in point. With musicians ranging from Stevie Wonder to the Kings of Leon taking part, the organisers wanted to make it clear that music and popular culture can bring an issue to the masses. 

As Fatoumata Nafo-Traore, the executive director of the Roll Back Malaria campaign points out, music brings people together and through the Africa Live concert of 2005, the issue of malaria was given a platform. Seth Berkley from Gavi Alliance agrees. He points out that these events are not merely a gimmick – his organisation has used the power of celebrity to deliver vaccines to children to protect them from disease.

Finally Dr Maryan Qasim, the Minister for human development in Somalia agrees that policy and popular pressure are both required to effect change. She sees pop culture as having a supportive role once the right policies are in place.