Global Citizen festival

(Global Citizen Festival)

Global Citizen Festival: Six of the most expensive pledges made so far

Wow. We’re talking about billions of dollars here, not just rand. Global Citizen Festival and its contributors are going above and beyond to honour Madiba.

Global Citizen festival

(Global Citizen Festival)

Sure, we’ve got the music. We’ve got Trevor Noah bringing the jokes. Hell, we’ve even seen Usher team up with Black Coffee. But it’s important to remember why the Global Citizen Festival has come to South Africa.

Of course, it’s the culmination of a wonderful celebration for the father of our democracy, Nelson Mandela. With a little help from the deep pockets of Patrice Motsepe, 2018 has seen Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and even FC Barcelona come and entertain the South African masses.

But what is the best way to honour Nelson Mandela’s legacy? It’s not just about a celebration: It’s about effecting real change, by getting those in power to help eradicate poverty and make this world a better place.

We’re pleased to tell you that this festival is already achieving its mission. On Sunday, as the concert got underway, we saw a spate of international business figures and world leaders pledge huge sums of money towards fighting the inequality that blights Africa.

Here are the biggest spenders – from some of the highest echelons of government and business – making a difference with their charity:

Biggest pledges made at the Global Citizen Festival

Canadian PM, Justin Trudeau – $50 million

How’s this to get the ball rolling? The Canadian Prime Minister has been the first major leader to commit to the cause. Trudeau tweeted his good friend Trevor Noah, to apologise for not making it to Johannesburg. However, this was one hell of a way to say sorry.

The donation from Canada will go towards EduCannotWait: The first global fund for education in emergencies & protracted crises. Merci, Justin!

Cross River State (Nigeria) – $15 million

In an attempt to help sanitise the rivers of Nigeria, the department has promised Global Citizen Festival they will put $3 million forward for the next five years, in order to keep their rivers “defecation-free”.

Bill and Melinda Gates – $17 million

Multi-billionaire Bill Gates has shared a slice of his enormous personal fortune to help tackle the threat of NTDs – Neglected Tropical Diseases – on the African continent. Through the Bill and Melinda Gates Trust, their $17m contribution will be used to protect 20 million people.

Denmark’s Ambassador to Southern Africa, Tobias Elling Rehfeld – $7.6 million

The Danish government – thanks to a campaign spearheaded by Rehfeld – have put their money into reinforcing a national push to ensure sexual and reproductive health rights are improved from 2019 onwards.

Vodacom – R50.5 billion / $3.5 billion over three investments

Let’s start with one where we can all get involved with. Those generous folks at Vodacom have declared they will donate R1 for every retweet on this post: They will pledge up to R500 000 to eradicate pit latrines in South African schools and make educational institutions safer for our young learners.

They were just warming up at this point: Vodacom have announced that a vast majority of their pledge (R50 billion) will go towards improving connectivity in South Africa, with a mass roll-out of fibre internet and the introduction of 5G networks expected over the next few years.

And, not content with splashing the cash there, they’ve also set aside R500 million to fight some of the biggest problems gripping South Africa, including:

  • Gender-based violence
  • Sanitation in schools
  • Introducing more digital literacy in education

World Bank – $1 billion 

Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank, made his announcement to the sell-out crowd at the Global Citizen Festival in Johannesburg earlier this afternoon. The organisation will plough $1bn into health and education projects across Africa. Truly, this festival has brought out the best in some very wealthy people.