Senegal musician Maal named UN ambassador on desertification

Streaming HUBApril 17, 2023

LONDON (AP) – Senegalese singer-songwriter Baba Maal was named a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Convention to Combat Desertification on Monday.

Mal has long been an activist on climate change and refugees. Since 2003, he has been committed to various development challenges in Africa, working with various United Nations Family organizations.

His NANN-K trust recently opened a solar-powered irrigation project in Senegal to fight desertification, one of the main drivers of people leaving the country on dangerous migration routes. This project will train people to start similar projects in their communities.

In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Maal said she believes in putting power in the hands of young people and women.

“We are dealing with the effects of climate change but also fighting desertification on the African continent, especially in my region where we are not far from the desert and we see it coming at us,” he said.

“And it had an impact because people who don’t get much opportunities to do agriculture, fishing and so on, have to flee their places, go to big cities where nothing is planned for them, and then later, Some young people will just take a boat or just try to cross the desert to go to Spain or some of these places and it’s really dangerous. We lost a lot of lives.”

Brought up in the small town of Podor in northern Senegal, which has a fishing community at its centre, Mal was born into a fishing caste and was expected to follow that career path, but he befriended the storyteller and musician Mansour Sek. Did, and spent his. Demonstrate, travel and raise awareness of issues facing your homeland.

“Our role is to be the first to report on what is happening, because sometimes local people, they don’t know what is happening to them, the effects of climate change. They don’t know how to stand up against it. But at the same time, when they learn about it, they will say what to do,” he said.

The veteran musician released “Being,” his first album in seven years, on March 31 and will headline London’s Barbican for the first time in 20 years on May 30.

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