African music star and activist, Rocky Dawuni, joined former US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton and global dignitaries at the Cookstove Future Summitwhich was held in New York City on November 20-21, 2014. The Pledging Conference was convened to support the UN Foundation’s Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves as it focuses on clean cooking solutions to combat household air pollution from open fires and solid fuels which account for more than 4.3 million deaths annually worldwide. Rocky, who is is a Global Ambassador for the Alliance, was joined by fellow Ambassadors including Chinese film superstar Zhao Wei as well as the former captain of Ghana”s National World Cup soccer team, Stephen Appiah.
Hosted by Hillary Clinton, the Summit was attended by luminaries from around the world including Baroness Lindsay Northover, Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for International Development, United Kingdom; Børge Brende, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Norway; Hanna Tetteh, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integrations, Ghana; Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development and Radha Muthiah, Executive Director of the Alliance and more than 70 representatives from government, private sector, investors, UN agencies and non-governmental organizations who made commitments during the Alliance’s inaugural pledging event.
“I grew up in a traditional African home so when I became aware of the impact of cookstove smoke and it’s effects on public health and the environment I was inspired to use my voice to draw attention to this issue,” Dawuni explained. “I became intrigued by the Alliance’s approach of creating a market based, wholistic and sustainable solution to this issue while empowering women and others adversely affected by this issue” he further stated.
Dawuni recently partnered with Entertainment Weekly to launch the video for “African Thriller,” his first single from his forthcoming album “Branches of The Same Tree” due to be released in March 2015 on Cumbancha Records. The song and its colorful music video showcasing Rocky’s unique fusion of reggae, Afrobeat and soul has received rave reviews and widespread acclaim.