Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bono, Angela Merkel and Thousands of Eyes Launch our German Election Campaign

April 23, 2013

This blog originally appeared on The ONE Blog.

With Germany just months away from a major election in which voters will choose a new parliament, which will in turn elect a new government and Chancellor, ONE Germany last week launched a major new campaign to remind German voters and candidates of both parties of the remaining challenges and the great opportunities in the fight against extreme poverty in this decisive year.

ONE’s co-founder Bono joined German activists, academics and entertainment leaders, as well as 50 ONE Germany Youth Ambassadors, in the launch of the campaign, Ich schaue hin!  The phrase has several meanings including: “I am not turning a blind eye. I see the challenges, and I am not going to look away” and “I am looking, my eyes are open. I see the progress that has already been made in Africa and I recognise the opportunity to virtually end extreme poverty on our lifetime.”

Following the campaign launch, Bono, ONE Africa Director Dr. Sipho Moyo and the ONE Youth Ambassadors met privately with Chancellor Angela Merkel for a discussion of the important role Germany has played in helping reduce extreme poverty in the developing world. They discussed the need to continue that leadership even in difficult economic times, and about the importance of doing more to tackle corruption and increase transparency.

After the meeting, Bono said: “She’s got to be the busiest woman in the world so taking time out to meet ONE’s Youth Ambassadors and talk in her hard-headed way about the progress being made in the fight against extreme poverty was very impressive.

The Chancellor has embodied time after time that very German notion that a promise made is a promise kept. Later she made it very clear that Germany’s aid effort must move upward again. And she has promised to work with others on transparency too, so that people across Africa increasingly know what their leaders are doing with their money and hold them accountable.

She also expressed an interest in the business of aid becoming more transparent so that German taxpayers can understand better what their aid is paying for.”

The campaign is asking supporters to sign a petition and add a photo of their eyes to our gallery, to remind the German government we are watching their words and actions on global poverty in the run up to the election in September. German members: add your eyes now!

 
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