DAKAR, Feb 3 — Megastar Rihanna vowed she would “never stop fighting” to get millions of children back in school yesterday as French President Emmanuel Macron promised a major boost in foreign aid for education in developing nations.
Macron co-hosted a conference in Dakar organised by the Global Partnership for Education with Senegalese President Macky Sall, while Rihanna attended as the organisation’s global ambassador.
“We have made tremendous progress today but of course our work is never done, we have a long way to go, and this is a fight we are never going to stop fighting, until every boy and every girl has access to education,” she told the crowd.
At ease with the African heads of state gathered onstage, Rihanna put her arm around Malian leader Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and joked around with Senegal’s President Sall.
Macron spoke with Rihanna on the sidelines of the event after she challenged him to contribute more to the project in a tweet on Thursday, before announcing €200 million (RM1.4 billion) for the partnership’s activities.
The French leader told delegates that countries where the world had witnessed “democracy being rolled back”, were also where “girls were being pushed out of school.”
The funding promise represents a massive increase on the 17 million euros pledged at the last conference in 2014. It brings France closer to Britain, which contributes US$430 million, and the European Union, which gives US$400 million.
It is not the first time the young French leader and the singer of Umbrella fame have met: she visited the Elysee Palace in July after tweeting him on the same issue.
The Dakar conference, which brings together governments and the private sector, aims to raise US$3.1 billion over the coming three years to support education for 870 million children around the world. — AFP