Rihanna, Macron champion millions for global education

Singer Rihanna gestures during a meeting in Dakar, Senegal Friday Feb. 2, 2018. Singer Rihanna and French President Emmanuel Macron have headlined a conference in Senegal raising hundreds of millions of dollars for education in poor countries. Cheers and whistles rang out as Rihanna was announced in the audience that included several African heads of state. (AP Photo/Mamadou Diop)

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Singer Rihanna and French President Emmanuel Macron headlined a conference in Senegal on Friday raising hundreds of millions of dollars for education in developing countries.

Cheers and whistles rang out as Rihanna was announced in the audience that included several African heads of state and the World Bank president.

“This is a fight we’re never gonna stop fighting until every boy and every girl has access to education,” said the singer, an ambassador for the Global Partnership for Education, which supports work in 65 countries.

Rihanna tweeted “merci” to thank Macron for co-hosting the organization’s conference as part of his two-day trip to Senegal. The host nation was praised for spending 7 percent of its GDP on education.

Macron called education “the only single response” to the extremism and fundamentalism threatening West Africa. He promised 200 million euros ($248 million) for the fund, sharply upping France’s earlier offer, and urged others to pitch in toward the 3.1 billion euro overall goal.

Macron hosted Rihanna at his presidential palace last year after she challenged him on Twitter to contribute to her efforts to fund education in developing countries, notably in conflict and crisis areas.

The singer also urged other Western leaders, including British Prime Minister Theresa May, to contribute at Friday’s conference. The Barbados-born Rihanna’s The Clara Lionel Foundation promotes education and arts globally.

Macron, traveling with his wife, Brigitte, also met Friday with Senegalese President Macky Sall and later was expected to visit French forces serving with the G5 Sahel, a five-nation regional force launched last year to counter growing extremism in West Africa.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s