Benetton puts the spotlight on entrepreneurial Africa. Its global communication campaign for 2008 promotes the Birima micro-credit programme in Senegal, a co-operative credit society founded by the Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour. The programme will also receive financial support from Benetton Group. Africa Works - the slogan of the campaign developed by Fabrica - will appear on billboards and in the press throughout the world, from February 2008. It features Senegalese workers who have used micro loans to start small, productive businesses. Photographer James Mollison portrays them with the tools of their trade against a neutral background. They include, amongst others, a fisherman, a decorator, a musician, a jewellery-maker, a farmer, a tailor, two textile sellers and a boxer. These everyday people become tangible symbols of an Africa that uses the dignity of work to fight poverty, promote equitable development, maximise its resources and take back responsibility for creating its future.
In addition to outdoor and press advertising, the new Benetton campaign includes a series of projects and events: a special supplement distributed with Colors 73 about money in its myriad forms and substances; a new version of Birima, song recorded by Youssou N’Dour in 2000 and re-arranged by him in 2008 with the extraordinary participation of Patti Smith, Simphiwe Dana, Irene Grandi and Francesco Renga; a videoclip of the song; a cartoon about micro-credit produced specifically for the Senegalese community and African TV channels; a Benetton website devoted to the campaign and its related events and the http://www.birima.org/ portal, both devised and developed by Fabrica. The Africa Works campaign will also be on stage during the Senegalese singer's world tour, in particular during his concert at Paris Bercy on 5 April 2008.
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