When Kendrick Lamar takes the stage at Kigali, Rwanda’s BK Arena on Dec. 6 for an event called Move Afrika: Rwanda, it will mark the first step in building a global touring circuit on the African continent. Lamar’s entertainment company pgLang is teaming up with Global Citizen, the advocacy organization known for staging charity concerts around the world, to launch an initiative called Move Afrika: A Global Citizen Experience.
The organizers hope to expand the program to include tour stops in five African countries by 2025. The concert will also feature performances by talent from the areas where each concert takes place. Lamar’s pgLang will serve as Move Afrika’s curator through 2028.
“Our goal with Move Afrika is to inspire local youth and artists to unlock their creativity,” a rep for pgLang said in a statement. “We hope to curate an immersive experience that empowers various communities and cultures across Africa and around the world for a lifetime.”
The initiative will help create jobs and offer entrepreneurship opportunities locally. In addition to employing local artists, it will provide jobs for vendors, agencies, and crews, as well as necessary training for people new to these jobs. The organizers hope Move Afrika will also drive expectations for more events around the continent.
“Africa is driving culture and creativity globally, but the continent has been left out of the global music touring circuit for too long,” Hugh Evans, Global Citizen cofounder and CEO, said in a statement. The organization has previously hosted events in Johannesburg, South Africa, Lagos, Nigeria, and Accra, Ghana. “By moving from one-off events to the sustained commitment of an annual tour, Move Afrika will drive transformative investments across Africa through the pioneering of a world-class touring circuit. Move Afrika will pave the way for many more artists to tour the continent, while generating new economic opportunities within the entertainment industry for Africa’s booming youth generation.”
The organizers also hope to draw attention to social issues that affect the African continent. These include finding funding for health, especially for females, addressing climate change and how it affects food availability, helping to find jobs for younger generations, and encouraging civic participation. They’re also offering a WhatsApp number for people interested in taking action on these issues to text: +250 790 008 555 on WhatsApp.
Kigali, Rwanda, will be the base for Move Afrika for the next five years. The decision to host the event there shows prosperity in the region, which three decades ago made headlines for genocidal violence. Now, it’s known for its growing population and booming economy, which is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies after the pandemic. Last month, The New York Times noted that Rwanda has the highest number of female parliamentarians in the world. The Rwanda Development Board has partnered with its organizers to grow the festival with time.
“We are delighted to host Global Citizen and to provide a platform for Move Afrika,” Rwanda Development Board CEO Francis Gatare said. “This is a unique collaboration that aims to showcase the best of African creative talent to the world, through curated memorable entertainment experiences that address development priorities of our continent. Creating employment and income-generating initiatives of the private sector, with a spotlight on the youth, is Rwanda Development Board’s core mandate. Together with Global Citizen and Move Afrika, we will position Rwanda as an entertainment hub for all African countries to benefit from the global creative industry.”
Lamar, who recently collaborated with Taylor Swift and released his fifth album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, last year, has only one other concert on his schedule for the rest of the year. He’ll headline one day of the Hey Neighbour Festival in Pretoria, South Africa, on Dec. 9.
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