Kendrick Lamar plans to bring major concerts to Africa through new Global Citizen initiative

NEW YORK — Rapper Kendrick Lamar will headline Move Afrika: A Global Citizen Experience, a new initiative to establish an international touring circuit on the continent of Africa launching with a concert in Kigali, Rwanda on Dec. 6.

Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans said Lamar’s show at the BK Arena will be financed with a mix of philanthropic donations and corporate funding in hopes the Pulitzer Prize-winning, “Humble” rapper will show the opportunities for artists who appeal to Africa’s booming generation of young people.

“Move Afrika is about social enterprise – and over time, it provides certainty to our vendors and partners, enabling them to scale and expand,” Evans told The Associated Press. “Our goal is that this tour will spur the growth and development of small businesses across the region to deliver both our events and many more year round, as other artists take advantage of the tour routes.”

African artists — including Burna Boy, Rema, and Davido — have had recent hits around the world. MTV added the Best Afrobeats Video category to this year’s Video Music Awards. The Grammys announced they will add an award for Best African Music Performance for next year.

Kweku Mandela, Global Citizen’s chief vision officer, said Africans should be available to experience the biggest concerts in the world just like everyone else. “The reason that is so often given is that there’s a lack of infrastructure, lack of technical crews,” Mandela said. “The reality is, there’s just a lack of will, because we’ve seen some of the biggest artists come to this continent over the last few decades.”

In addition to Lamar, Move Afrika: Rwanda will feature other regional artists, curated by Lamar and filmmaker Dave Free’s creative services company pgLang, and an advocacy campaign urging world leaders to take action on issues affecting Africa.

“We’re embarking on generating a paradigm shift,” Mandela said. “Hopefully, this will send a message to the entire industry that not only is there huge, huge opportunity on the continent for them to engage with and embrace, but ultimately, that this is something that is necessary considering where we’re going as a society and as humanity.”

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