Yemi Alade new UNDP goodwill ambassador
24 September 2020 | Art and Entertainment
Having risen to the top of a male-dominated industry, Nigerian singer-songwriter Yemi Alade was today appointed the goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Kicking off her new role as the Covid-19 pandemic surges around the world, Alade will help shine a spotlight on the disproportionate impact of the health and socio-economic crisis on the poorest and most vulnerable people, who are often women, especially in developing nations.
“Women are among the four billion people who are trying to survive Covid-19 without any form of social protection,” Alade said.
“I want to lend my voice to these women and other vulnerable people who make up half of the world that’s struggling to make ends meet. They don’t have the luxury of working from home and are putting their health at risk just to put food on the table.”
‘Can’t wait to hit the ground running’
Alade was appointed by UNDP administrator Achim Steiner.
“We can’t wait to hit the ground running with you, Yemi. We look forward to hearing and sharing the issues that you are passionate about – including women’s empowerment and tackling inequality,” Steiner said as he welcomed Alade to the UNDP family via video.
“We at UNDP will also be working to amplify your voice on the socio-economic impact of Covid-19 in developing countries and the importance of a green and equitable recovery for all.”
Alade feels strongly that responses to the pandemic provide an opportunity to build back better and greener. She will advocate for transformational changes towards a sustainable future and a new normal: One where all people are able to live in harmony with nature. This includes lending support to The Lion’s Share, a UNDP initiative dedicated to protecting biodiversity, which Alade feels is critically important as we battle a global pandemic and strive to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
With four albums and many hits under her belt, Alade is one of the biggest Afro-pop female artists on the African continent, and the first African female Afro-pop artist to hit over 100 million views on YouTube.
In 2018 and 2019, she won the Headies Award for best performer and made the Forbes Africa 30 under 30 list.
In 2016, she won the Independent Music Award for best album and MTV Africa Music Award for best female.
In 2015, she won the Nigeria Entertainment Award for female artist of the year. She also collaborated with Beyoncé and, in 2019, was featured on Beyoncé’s ‘The Lion King: The Gift’ album.
She is joining a roster of UNDP goodwill ambassadors which includes globally celebrated actors, athletes, musicians and other high-profile influencers.