FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              

 

COCA-COLA EBONY FESTIVAL COMMITTED TO A NEW VISION OF AFRICA

UNAIDS, Stevie Wonder; Youssou N’Dour to Participate in Event

 

Washington, DC, March 22, 2004 — The Coca-Cola Ebony Festival to be held in Dakar, Senegal will celebrate the hope, spirit and cultures of the African people despite a plethora of crises threatening Africa.  The three-day festival, which takes place June 4-6, 2004 on Goree Island, will launch a global movement calling Africans—and the rest of the world—to actively participate in renewing their commitment to the continent and her future. The festival will feature concerts, including performances by renowned African and international artists such as Jimmy Cliff; Angelique Kidjo; Youssou N'Dour; Miriam Makeba; MC Solaar; Stevie Wonder; and Tracy Chapman. Events at the festival will include an exhibition of art and design, as well as a celebrity football match including players from the Senegalese national football team.

 

“Coca-Cola has been supporting music, culture and sport alongside a wide range of community activities across the African continent for many years,” explains Alex Cummings, President, Coca-Cola Africa. “The Ebony Festival epitomises these activities and the values which we believe are fundamental to Africa’s renaissance.”

 

With the world constantly being inundated with images of what is wrong with Africa— famine, civil war and AIDS, the Coca-Cola Ebony Festival is a catalyst for a new vision of Africa.  “This festival is about celebrating Africa,” says Mya Padmore, co-executive producer of the festival. “Although it seems to be a difficult concept for some to understand, without highlighting a negative aspect of Africa, this it what makes this effort unique.” 

 

The festival maintains extensive media partnerships that will promote the event to millions of viewers worldwide. Television and radio partners include Canal France International, which will broadcast the festival live to over 40 African national television stations, in addition to coverage through TV5, Trace TV & Magazine, MTV Base, Radio France and others.

 

“We want the world to know that there is more than charity and pity for Africa. There are many reasons

to be proud and amazed by Africans,” says Seynabou Sy, co-executive producer of the festival.

 

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Coca-Cola executives from around the world, the African diplomatic corps and industry professionals and dignitaries will gather on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 in Washington, D.C., along with the producers of the Coca-Cola Ebony Festival to announce the upcoming three-day celebration of African unity.

 

Coca-Cola Africa is Africa's soft drink leader and the continent's largest foreign consumer-products investor. Its beverages are marketed and distributed by bottling partners in over 170 plants serving 850 million consumers in all 56 countries and territories.

 

Tumba International Limited, founded by Mya Padmore and Seynabou Sy, was created to manage and produce the Ebony Festival. The Coca-Cola Ebony Festival is the premiere event with plans to produce additional festivals every two years.

 

For more information on the Coca-Cola Ebony Festival, visit www.ebonyfestival.com

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Contacts:

Olufunke Adebonojo, Ebony Festival

(301) 792-7962

olufunke@ebonyfestival.com

-or-

Serigne M'Backe Dieng, Coca-Cola North & West Africa

011 212 (0) 22 435 100

sdieng@mena.ko.com

 

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