WATCH | 'Africa needs electricity': Djimon Hounsou & Global Citizen CEO on ending poverty on the continent

Global Citizen NOW summit seeks to drive action to end extreme poverty

Beninese-born actor Djimon Hounsou took part in a panel and advocated for ending energy poverty in Africa. File photo.
CONCERNED Beninese-born actor Djimon Hounsou took part in a panel and advocated for ending energy poverty in Africa. File photo.
Image: GCN

“There are 600-million people, more than half of the population of the continent of Africa, that lack access to electricity,” Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans said at Global Citizen NOW summit in New York on Wednesday and Thursday.

“If you're trying to enter the workforce or compete in the age of AI, there's no way in hell you can do that without access to electricity — so we have to start there.”

The Global Citizen NOW summit is seeking to drive action to end extreme poverty. Leaders from the worlds of public policy, media, entertainment, philanthropy, advocacy and the private sector have convened for two days focused on “taking action today to save tomorrow”.

“The 2024 edition of the summit is focusing on ideas for urgent action to achieve a world where everyone’s basic needs are fulfilled, including access for all people to food, energy, healthcare and education,” the movement said in a statement.

Evans spoke about how the summit and a future summit in Ivory Coast is hoping to help Africa's access to energy.

“Global Citizen, together with Bridgewater and Harith, are hosting a summit in Ivory Coast on October 9 and 10 with the express goal of calling on the G20 to increase their investment by 25%, which would mean an additional $6bn [R111.44bn] to fund IDA [the International Development Association] and the 75 poorest countries, to provide access to electricity and ultimately competition in the workforce,” he said.

Beninese-born actor Djimon Hounsou was also present to take part in a panel and advocate for ending energy poverty in Africa. His personal foundation, the Djimon Hounsou Foundation, focuses on strengthening pan-African identity and self awareness.

Hounsou, an award-winning actor best remembered for his epic performance in the 2002 movie Blood Diamond, says developed nations need to be held accountable for unleashing climate injustice across the globe.

Climate change will “force people to move off their land, potentially provoke conflict and cause economic and political instability”, the actor said.



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