As the Ebola virus becomes an overwhelming human catastrophe affecting public health, social institutions and and economic well-being in Africa, we stand in solidarity with our fellow citizens in the countries victimized by this deadly disease.
We also thank and salute the local and international health workers who are risking their lives daily, intervening on the ground to eradicate the scourge of Ebola, often without access to gloves and other protective supplies.
We acknowledge and applaud the decision of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) health ministers to call for the lifting of travel bans to Ebola affected countries, which are hampering the fight against Ebola and restricting the arrival of essential expertise and equipment, as well as fuel to provide electricity, medications to treat other deadly diseases such as malaria and food to prevent famine.
In the name and interest of our common humanity, we are collectively launching this urgent Citizens' Call to Action.
We call on our respective Heads of State and Government to avoid full embargo against Ebola-affected states. While we understand the legitimate concerns for the protection of their population, we remind African leaders of their obligation to pan-African solidarity and the global community of their humanitarian obligations in emergencies. We urge the following immediate actions:
Ensure that the flow of essential assistance can reach those in need, while maintaining economic activity necessary for sustaining life in cities and villages, by
• Authorizing and implementing the local recommendations issued by the World Health Organization (WHO)
• Acknowledging the impossibility of quarantining entire nations and instead establish much-needed economic and humanitarian corridors of access - essential life-lines - both within the affected countries and between countries.
We call on African opinion leaders – including artists, athletes, filmmakers, writers, journalists, academics – to initiate or to actively take part in public information campaigns on prevention and transmission of the Ebola. These can happen via road-shows, film screenings, theatrical pieces, discussion groups, and the distribution of messages via cellphone networks. And we call upon global opinion leaders to add their talents and voices in support.
We call on the broad private sector, the pharmaceutical industry, and the research community, in particular, to fund, facilitate and make immediately available access to all known methods of prevention and treatment of this menacing threat to our global well-being.
Join the call by signing the petition at
Signed on August 31, 2014
H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President, Federal Republic of Nigeria
H.E. Benjamin Mkapa, Former President,United Republic of Tanzania
Mrs Graca Machel, President of the Foundation for Community Development
Bineta Diop, Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security, African Union
Youssou Ndour, Singer
Ali Mufuruki, InfoTech Investment Group
Kandeh Yumkallah, Chairman of UN-Energy and former Director-General
Zainab Bangura, Special Representative of UN Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Ashih Thakkar, Founder, MARA Group
Frannie Leautier, Founder, Mkoba Group
Dele Olojede, Journalist, Pulitzer Prize Winner
Amadou Mahtar Ba, Executive Chairman, Co Founder AllAfrica Global Media
Mamadou Toure, Founder, Africa 2.0
Thelma Awori, chair Institute for Social Transformation, former UNDP Director
Linus Gitahi, CEO Nation Media Group
Prof. Ousmane Kane, Harvard University
Ebrima Sall, Executive Secretary CODESRIA
Prof. Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Columbia University
Prof. Alioune Sall, Director, African Futures Institute, South Africa ,
Prof. Mamadou Diouf, Columbia University
Trevor Ncube, Deputy Executive Chair, Mail&Guardian
Omar Ben Yedder, Director IC Publications
Férial Haffajee, Editor In Chief, City Press
Zyad Limam, Director Afrique Magazine
Aminata Forna, Professor of Creative Writing and award-winning author
Mahen Bonetti, Founder & Executive Director of African Film Festival, Inc.
Fatou Wurie, Activist
Alpha Djo Dara
Aliou Goloko, CEO Goal Communication
Reed Kramer, CEO, AllAfrica Global Media
Aly Leno, Président Union des Journalistes Culturels et Animateurs de Guinée )
Tidiane Soumah, PDG Todoane World Music
Dr. Tendai Mhizha, CEO Integra Africa
Samba Bathily, PDG ADS
Prof. Cheikh Ibrahima Niang, UCAD
Prof. Penda Mbow, UCAD
Prof. Anyang' Nyong'o, former minister, Kenya
Dr. Tami Hultman, CEO AllAfrica Foundation
Soyata Maiga, Special Rapporteur on Women Human Rights in Africa
Harriette Williams Bright, Femmes Africa Solidarité
Isham Elgar, Olympic and World Champion
Younes Maamar, CEO Eone Investments