‘Song for the Sahel’ Exhibits Region’s Cultural Heritage Amid Crisis

Musicians across the Sahel have collaborated to produce a song that celebrates the strength that Sahelians continue to display amid the crisis that surrounds them.

The five-minute vocal and instrumental song focuses on the ongoing crisis in the Sahel, while showcasing the region’s rich musical heritage and the resilience of its people.

Sahel refers to Burkina Faso, Northern Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Senegal and North-East Nigeria and the regional crisis is one of the world’s fastest-growing emergencies. This year, almost 29 million people need life-saving assistance and protection.

A popular Malian musician and strong advocate for the Sahel, Vieux Farka Touré agreed to write, produce and record the song. Noteworthy Sahelian musicians from across the region and beyond also joined the collaboration, lending voices and music to drive awareness. Their lyrics address youth in particular, who make up a majority of the Sahelian demographic.

Toure believes the youth must show courage, strength and fight against this crisis.

“Peace and solidarity are the tools. If peace is built now, our children tomorrow will thrive,” said Farka Touré.

He described music as a fantastic tool to share messages because of the strongIt has a strong impact on what happens around us.

Conflict has been the main driver of the increased needs and displacement in the Sahel. The rapidly deteriorating situation in the Central Sahel and the Lake Chad basin has continued to threaten lives with a devastating impact on people’s livelihoods.

Since 2015, the number of violent attacks have increased by eightfold in the Central Sahel and tripled in the Lake Chad basin. Insecurity, violent attacks and kidnappings are a daily reality for millions of civilians and humanitarian workers in the field.

Report shows a record 5.5 million people have been displaced as a result of the crisis in the region.

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