On Wednesday, December 6, Rwanda is set to host the inaugural Move Afrika: Rwanda concert, featuring Kendrick Lamar, a Grammy Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning artiste. The stage will also see performances by Rwandan artistes Bruce Melodie, Ariel Wayz, DJ Toxxyk, and Sherrie Silver, with Tanzanian singer Zuchu also on the lineup. Following the release of the final lineup, social media witnessed a surge in discussions, among local citizens expressing concerns about the absence of local rap artistes from the concert roster. Seeking insights into the selection criteria and shedding light on the essence of Move Afrika, The New Times engaged in a conversation with Liz Agbor-Tabi, the Vice President of Global Policy and Strategic Relationships at Global Citizen. The excerpts: Could you clarify what Move Afrika is? There seems to be some confusion, with some people associating it solely with a regular concert. What distinguishes Move Afrika, and could you shed light on the role of its organiser, Global Citizen? Global Citizen is an advocacy organisation on a mission to end extreme poverty across the world and Move Africa is our latest campaign to promote health and equity, defend the planet, create jobs. and economic opportunities for young Africans. For Move Afrika, think about it as a concert with purpose. Global Citizen has a unique advocacy model which is citizen led. We call it our pop in policy model where we work with artists, activists, creatives, leveraging pop culture music to drive a policy and advocacy agenda. Delving into the concert aspect, can you provide insights into how the Global Citizen team selected performers for Move Afrika? Understanding the criteria would help people grasp why certain acts, particularly local ones, may not have appeared on the lineup. So first and foremost, we're an advocacy organisation on a mission to end extreme poverty. And so we work with artists, activists that embrace our vision to end poverty across the world. We are committed to leveraging their time, their talents towards advancing this mission. On the December 6th stage, we're incredibly thrilled to have on the stage a number of Rwandan artists, presenters, creatives, and talent, to really drive this advocacy message that we hope to achieve. Looking ahead over the next five years, what can revelers and global citizens anticipate from Move Afrika? Additionally, as the tour concludes, what does Global Citizen hope to achieve institutionally from this five-year journey across Africa? We're in a five-year partnership with the government of Rwanda. With the Rwanda Development Board, as our host partner. And over the course of the five years, what we hope to do is to build skills, to upskill and to help scale the live music entertainment sector. And we're looking to do this, not just in Rwanda, but across the African market. We're kicking off in Rwanda by 2024, looking to build on two additional markets and by 2025 to scale to five markets. And in doing so, what we're hoping to create is a touring circuit, an African touring circuit, which will really be the first of its kind, which will enable us to attract investment and to build infrastructure that will promote touring across the African continent. So if you look at the touring, the touring circuit currently, which is nascent at best, it's almost impossible to envision a world where artists are able to really take their music, their craft across the continent, let alone to be able to attract other artists from the global north and elsewhere onto the continent. And so we believe that through this engagement, starting here in Rwanda and building on to five African markets, we'll be able to create that demand for touring within Africa for African artists, as well as artists from across the globe. Given that Move Afrika coincides with the UN Climate Change conference (COP28), do you believe this initiative has the potential to contribute to institutional change? How does the event align with global efforts to address climate change? Action taking is the currency for earning global citizen tickets. By signing on to the Global Citizen platform, downloading the app, or in this market, we've just launched a new product through WhatsApp, which enables individuals to be able to take action, to use their voices to drive change and to create impact. A big part of this campaign is really creating a platform for young Africans to use their voices to demand and to address solutions to the challenges which they face. And it's a unique opportunity for anyone, anywhere on the continent to be able to be a part of the solutions. To the challenges that they face, whether that's in inequitable access to health or to addressing the climate crisis or to economic opportunity. I think this is an incredibly powerful platform, which creates the venue and the agency to be able to drive impact. We know that Afro beats is the largest streamed musical genre currently. And so we know that this sector will continue to grow. We know that streaming of Afrobeats is really done mostly by 18 to 24 year olds. Africa is the youngest continent, we see a lot of opportunity here to grow the sector across African markets and for young Africans to be a part of driving this growth. It's a very exciting time, to be young and to be African and to be able to contribute to this sort of impact. The beauty of a five year partnership is that we won't be doing one off events here in Rwanda. We will be back for the next five years. And this really gives us a runway and an opportunity to engage a broad and diverse array of artists, creatives, and we're really looking forward to working with a wide range of creatives here in Rwanda and across the region. Are there any other crucial details you believe are essential for readers to grasp about Move Afrika and Global Citizen's involvement? I think Move Afrika: Rwanda is going to be a great show. I think it's going to be an opportunity to show to the world the creativity that is innate in the African markets. I'd like to encourage everyone who hasn't already downloaded the app to go ahead, download the app, and start taking action. And I look forward to seeing you on December 6.