Youssou N’Dour: president of Africa?

At the recent African Union summit in Accra, Senegalese music star Youssou N’Dour—recently selected by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential personalities in the world—voiced support for the idea of a United States of Africa, and said he would run for the united continent’s first president. “Apart from all demagogy, I solemnly announce my candidacy for leading the future African government,” he said to thunderous applause. “I’m aware of the enormous stakes connected to this issue, and I have the required capacities.” (Echorouk Online, Algeria, June 28)

Days later at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, N’Dour took part in a march for action on the Darfur crisis, and called upon his fellow stars Quincy Jones and French singer Diam to join the march as well. “We get the impression that the conflict in Darfur has been put on the back-burner by those in power,” N’Dour said. “We have to show that people are outraged at how long it is taking to resolve this conflict that has killed 300,000 people.” (World Entertainment News Network, July 4)

See our last posts on Darfur , the Sahel crisis and the politics of African unification.