Bono uses his rock star status to raise awareness about the crises in Africa: unpayable debts, uncontrolled spread of AIDS, and the unfair trade rules which keep Africans poor. In 2002, Bono co-founded DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa) to raise public awareness of the issues in its name, and influence government policy on Africa. On behalf of DATA, Bono has lobbied U.S. Presidents and Congressional leaders, along with the heads of many other G8 nations. DATA is a founding member of the One Campaign to make poverty history, which is part of a global network of millions of people campaigning against extreme poverty.
A Lesson in Giving Back
In an impassioned speech that continues to inspire audiences, Bono speaks out about the devastating issues plaguing Africa and the difference that one voice can make.
Corporate Responsibility and Social Accountability
Bono encourages corporate executives to step outside their normal roles and consider larger issues to try and understand how they can more positively impact the world.
Rock Star Turned Humanitarian
Bono is the lead singer of Irish rock band U2, who have sold over 140 million albums worldwide. U2 has won numerous awards for its music including 22 Grammys and 12 MTV Awards, and were inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. Bono has received a number of awards for his activism, including TIME Magazine's Person of the Year for 2005 and an honorary British knighthood in 2007. Using his fame to draw attention to Africa and the crises of poverty and HIV/AIDS, Bono has gained access to the world’s most powerful politicians.
Promoting Global Social Awareness
Bono first became involved in issues affecting Africa as part of the Live Aid response to the Ethiopian famine in 1984. Since then he has actively supported Amnesty, Greenpeace and Jubilee 2000 'Drop the Debt' movement. The New York Times cited Bono's work as a catalyst for President Bush’s promise of nearly $30 billion more over five years to fight AIDS and poverty. In 2004, this promise resulted in the largest increase in US foreign assistance in 40 years.
A Willing Leader
In 2002, Bono co-founded an organization called DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa) to raise public awareness of the issues in its name, and put pressure on rich governments to increase resources for Africa and improve policies which impact African countries. On behalf of DATA, Bono has lobbied U.S. Presidents and Congressional leaders, along with the heads of many other G8 nations. DATA is a founding member of the One Campaign to Make Poverty History, part of a global network of millions of people campaigning against extreme poverty. Bono has also traveled to Africa with then Secretary of the US Treasury Paul O'Neill, and toured churches, campuses and town halls with African AIDS activists across America's Midwest.
In 2006, Bono with Bobby Shriver launched Product (RED) to raise money from businesses to buy AIDS drugs for people in Africa unable to afford them. Product (RED) has an ongoing relationship with a number of iconic global brands who sell (RED) products and donate a percentage of the profits directly to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.