By Saskia Akyil on
Bono is putting his philanthropic energy into Vanity Fair’s July 2007 special issue about Africa. The issue has 20 different cover photos of high-profile individuals, all taken by renowned photographer Annie Liebowitz.
The magazine includes information about the issues and charities supported by actors, athletes, models, politicians, musicians, activists, and billionaire philanthropists, all of whom are using their celebrity status and the publicity they receive to bring attention to the complex set of problems faced by the inhabitants of Africa.
Africa is a continent with great need, and has been given a disproportionately low amount of attention and aid from wealthy nations. It is the first Vanity Fair issue to have a guest editor, and Bono’s highly publicized commitment to aiding Africa makes him an obvious choice for editor of this issue. In recent years, celebrities have used their status to bring a great deal of attention to Africa.
The covers of the Africa issue include portraits of: Bono, Barack Obama, Queen Rania, George Bush, Condaleeza Rice, Muhammad Ali, Desmond Tutu, Brad Pitt, Djimon Hounsou, Madonna, Maya Angelou, Chris Rock, Warren Buffett, Melinda & Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Iman, and Don Cheadle.
The issue features numerous in-depth articles about a variety of subjects concerning Africa, including: Kenya; Desmond Tutu and the fight for equality in South Africa and worldwide; Tunisia’s success and the threat of Islamic extremism; the role of China in fueling some of the conflict in Africa; Jeffrey Sachs dream of how to eradicate extreme poverty; the consumer-action strategy of (Product) Red to make miracle AIDS treatment drugs accessible to the millions who need them; the role of the Congo’s blacklisted airline pilots in keeping trade flowing; Bill Clinton's stories of Nelson Mandela; African music; Africans defying the status quo of poverty, disease, and corruption; suggestions for platform topics for the US 2008 presidential election; the genetic data that links all people on Earth to Africa; identifying the current literary talents of Africa; Princess Diana's post-divorce charity work, in particular her mission to ban land mines; and the Africa connection of the high-profile individuals on Vanity Fair’s July 2007 issue covers.
The Vanity Fair website offers links and information about Africa, charities that benefit the continent, and full-text versions of some of the articles.
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