Malian singer named UNHCR Regional Goodwill Ambassador
GENEVA, Switzerland, March 21 (UNHCR) - Malian singer-songwriter Rokia Traoré has been named as a UNHCR Regional Goodwill Ambassador for West and Central Africa.
"It is an honour to take on this role at such a vital time for refugees," said Traoré, after receiving the official nomination on Sunday (March 20).
Born in the Malian capital, Bamako, the award-winning musician has been working with the UN Refugee Agency since 2013 to raise awareness about the forcibly displaced, particularly in Africa.
She has visited Malian refugees in Burkina Faso, performed at UNHCR's annual Nansen Refugee Award Ceremony in Geneva in 2014 and supported the agency's IBelong campaign to end statelessness by 2024.
To mark her appointment as Goodwill Ambassador, Traoré has released a special video of the title track from her new album "Né So," which means "Home" in her native Bambara language. It is dedicated to Malian refugees as well as those displaced around the world.
"I have witnessed thousands of displaced people within Mali and refugees in neighbouring countries who have been forced to leave behind their homes, their families and everything they know", she said.
As a Regional Goodwill Ambassador, Traoré joins an influential group of high-profile supporters who spread awareness and boost support for UNHCR around the world.
"As the world continues to witness record numbers forcibly displaced by war and conflict, I am grateful to be able to play a part in spotlighting this unprecedented refugee crisis as a Goodwill Ambassador."