Nigerian singer Tems. 

Music icons from across the world will today stage two parallel events to mark this year’s Global Citizen Festival in the United States and Africa.

In the US, the event will be staged at New York City’s Central Park, while in Africa, Accra’s Black Star Square in Ghana will play host.

The Global Citizen Festival started as a music festival where fans take action to end extreme poverty.

The inaugural event took place on September 29, 2012, with 60,000 in attendance at the Great Lawn in New York’s Central Park.

Since then, artistes like Rihanna, Beyoncé, JAY-Z, Pearl Jam, Stevie Wonder, Coldplay and Billie Eilish have performed on the Global Citizen Festival stage. 

The concert is timed to coincide with the UN General Assembly to leverage opportunities to get policy and financial commitments from governments, corporate and philanthropic leaders. Some of the biggest names in music from then to now include Mariah Carey, NY, Metallica, Charlie Puth, Jonas Brothers, Maneskin, Mickey Guyton and Rosalia.

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They will make the A-list parade in the New York show as American R&B legend Usher joins Africa’s finest Gyakie, Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, Stormzy, Tems and Uncle Waffles in Ghana. Today’s event will start at 3pm, East African time.

Black continent

The Global Citizen Festival, whose full impact was felt in Africa in 2018 as Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium played host, moves to Ghana, with huge representation from across the black continent, including participants from Kenya.

Five Kenyans have been part of a special world-selected BeyGood fellowship team, the 2023 class that will be crusading this year’s theme crafted around ending poverty.

Joining the team of 15 picked from across the continent for the year-long fellowship will be Arthur Kamau, Charity Kithaka, Diana Cheronoa, Kamuel Oure and Sherly Kambuni.

This year’s festival, one that unites artistes and world leaders, aims at empowering girls and women, caring for the planet, and calling for an end to extreme poverty.