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Celebrities come together to sing, “Where is our 10 percent?”

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Senegalese musician and Oxfam Global Ambassador Baaba Maal has teamed up with seven other recording artists to remind African leaders of their promises to their people. Photo: Pablo Tosco / Oxfam Senegalese musician and Oxfam Global Ambassador Baaba Maal has teamed up with seven other recording artists to remind African leaders of their promises to their people. Photo: Pablo Tosco / Oxfam

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“The promise is more binding than the debt.” ~African proverb

Baaba Maal and some of the best music artists on the African continent have come together to remind African heads of state of the commitments they have made to smallholder farmers and pastoralists. (Lyrics below.)

African leaders pledged to invest more in agriculture in 2003, but only eight of 54 countries have done so.

That’s why Oxfam, the ONE Campaign, and many African farmer and pastoralist organizations have a goal of 1 million signatures from across the African continent and from around the world to be delivered at the upcoming meeting of African Union Heads of State and Government. (You can read more on Oxfam’s Politics of Poverty blog, “10 reasons to tell African leaders to keep their Maputo Declaration promises.”)

2014 is the African Union Year of Agriculture, so this is a great moment to speak up. Add your voice and urge African leaders to keep their promises to smallholder farmers.

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Lyrics to “Where is our 10%?”

CEEPEE (Mauritania)
We do not mourn
We have our land and can live from that
Our ancestors too used to live off the land
Don’t wait, let’s get up and GROW
Don’t beg for help, let’s get up and GROW
We say no, we don’t want to get aid in bag
We want to GROW our food and put it into our own bags

TiTi LoKei (Nigeria Diaspora)
Ki lo de now, what is this?
Money dey but we cant feed the kids
Why is this, oya tell me why is this?
You made a promise now stick to it
10 percent of a billion ….. will feed a million
If we invest in farming women
Who GROW food for the children
No one in this world should go hungry
Why beg for help outside the country
When we have the best resource in our land
You heard us cry now the powers is in your hand
So tell me what, what you gonna do about it?
Stick to your promise its time for a change
Oya join hands rejoice in the rain
Our time is now, no more hunger pains!

SMARTY (Burkina Faso)
14% national budget
70% international dependence
Improve investments
Reduce poverty
It is the only way to go
The rural sector provides 30% gross profit
Burkinabe do you understand my struggle?
Mr. President, look at the finances
This country rests on the shoulders of our farmers!

BAABA MAAL (Senegal) – Refrain
If I could get African leaders to listen to me,
I would ask them where are the 10% promised to farmers?
The rivers are full and the good people are simply asking to work and grow their own food

DK (Senegal)
I ‘be been gone for a minute but the real is back
Been through it all to know the fact if you stay on your hustle you be where the cheddar at
What drive me insane is to see a grown
Pending in faith on another grown man
Daddy told me you don’t work you don’t eat
and the streets showed me you don’t grind you don’t shine
So forget the government I will work I will grind

FAADA FREEDY (Senegal)
Don’t abandon the hoe and the rake
If you hadn’t pushed farmers to abandon the mattock
Even though the land has such potential and water is plentiful
Nobody would suffer from hunger or thirst
If the money you spend on buying your big 4×4 cars went to supporting farmers
Agriculture would be productive
And our cooking pots would be full
Children would eat their fill
And we would leave future generations a world where everyone has enough to eat

BAABA MAAL – Refrain

DANNY LEE (Niger)
How do you want my people to be sated?
If agricultural policies are poorly devised
And the major powers only think about exploiting everything
Rather than dealing with the polluted air and water?
Here, it is all about chasing their own interests
Earning more, consuming more is their priority
Leaving the poor in their increasing poverty
Our farmers are breaking their backs to cultivate the land!

LAMI PHILLIPS (Nigeria)
We gotta to do something now
Everybody is asking how
Ouuh my Brother and sister,
Talk to the man in charge and say
There is so much confusion
We got find a solution
People are starving as we speak
They‘ve got practice what they pledge
Africa is you and me (x4)

BAABA MAAL – Refrain

DK (Senegal)
I am giving you your survival kit
Do it on your own keep all the profit
I hear you say you about your pocket
Why buy it if grows bro stop it (x2)

SOUND SULTAN (Nigeria) 
In Africa, where I am from
We‘ve got many people dying
No solution problem plenty oh
Many many people starving
Looking on the government to take our pain away
Never let their promises gray,
I cry, oh why
Do everybody fall their arms and watch their brother died
We will GROW if you show us the way
To make change before it’s too late

NDONGO D (Senegal)
Let’s all GROW
Millet, peanuts and rice to ensure food security
GROW to stop poverty
GROW to crush hunger
GROW to fill our plates
A promise is a debt, where are our 10%?
How many governments will respect their promises?
Give the farmers infrastructure and funding
Never forget that we reap what we sow

BAABA MAAL – Refrain

2FACE IDIBIA (Nigeria)
A hungry man is an angry man
This is what we must understand
Investing and support them
Oh guys it is not your destiny, it our destiny
So your see the change for a world where good food everywhere
Ohhh Let’s break the cycle of hunger (x4)

BAABA MAAL – Refrain 

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