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Bono is set to participate by satellite in Nelson Mandela's Robben Island
concert, raising funds for Africa's millions of AIDS victims.



Former South African President Mandela announced this weekend that he will
host a concert in February featuring some of the world's leading
entertainers to raise funds to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa.
Macy
Gray and Shaggy are other early names lined up for the show which will
be
held on Robben Island, a rocky outcrop off the coast of Cape Town where
Mandela spent nearly two decades as a prisoner of the apartheid regime and
which is now a museum.



'Mandela SOS' will take place on 2nd February, and be televised
worldwide.
Mandela was joined at the launch by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Oprah
Winfrey,
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and Diesel President and founder
Renzo
Rosso.



'HIV/AIDS is not only a health issue but has risen to become a human
rights
crisis,' said President Mandela. 'I am asking each person in every
country
not to be silent witnesses to this devastation but to answer our SOS by
raising both awareness and the vital funds necessary to fight and win
against this disease.'



Mandela, 84, one of the world's most revered figures, emerged from prison
to
become South Africa's first democratic president in 1994. He stepped down
in
1999 and has since become a vocal activist in the fight against AIDS.



'The concert will focus on the growing impact that AIDS has on human life,
not only in South Africa but throughout the world,' said President
Mandela.
'We must never allow those who are infected and affected by AIDS to become
statistics.'



Bono has just completed a week-long speaking tour in the US to raise
awareness about the growing AIDS crisis in Africa. More on this trip and
on
DATA - stands for Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa - the campaigning
organisation
he has helped found here. www.datadata.org




Africa has been hit harder by HIV/AIDS than any other region of the
world.
More than 17 million have died from the disease and another 28.1 million
are
infected with HIV. Currently there are 11 million AIDS orphans in Africa
and without urgent action there may be more than 25 million by the end of
this decade.



'I am certain we will overcome this epidemic," said Archbishop Tutu, who
was
also a leading anti-apartheid activist. 'We overcame apartheid, we will
overcome AIDS.'




Tickets will be free and distributed by competition and lottery (details
of
which will be announced later) and 100% of all funds raised will go
directly to the following charities:-



The Nelson Mandela Foundation

UNAIDS

Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Robben Island Museum

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