African singers to raise money for Haiti

Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:23am EST
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DAKAR (Reuters Life!) - West and Central African singing stars will record a song in early March in the Senegalese capital Dakar to raise money for victims of last month's earthquake in Haiti, the musical project's leader said Wednesday.

More than 200,000 people were killed and a million left homeless when a magnitude 7.0 quake struck the poor Caribbean country on January 12. Since then, a mass of international relief efforts have been launched.

In the most recent African aid initiative, dozens of singers, among them internationally known names including Senegalese vocalists Youssou Ndour and Baba Maal, Ivorian reggae artist Alpha Blondy and Congolese musicians Lokua Kanza and Papa Wemba, will gather in Dakar from March 1-6 to record a song, all proceeds from which will go to Haitians.

"We have seen many solidarity actions from other parts of the world, we too have to do our share," singer and project coordinator Coumba Gawlo Seck told Senegalese television after a meeting with Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade.

Mali and Guinea will also be represented musically, while Coumba Gawlo said a mega-concert in Dakar will be organized to raise more money for Haitians.

Soon after the earthquake, Wade grabbed international headlines but surprised many in his own country by proposing the creation of a new African state to resettle homeless Haitians, comparing the idea to the 1948 birth of the state of Israel.

(Reporting by Diadie Ba; Editing by Daniel Magnowski and Paul Casciato)

<p>Earthquake survivors carry sacks of rice during food distribution in Port-au-Prince February 10, 2010. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado</p>