Angelique Kidjo

Angélique Kidjo is a Grammy Award–winning Beninoise singer-songwriter and activist. The BBC has included Kidjo in its list of the African continent's 50 most iconic figures, The Guardian has listed her as one of its Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World, and Kidjo is the first woman to be listed among the 40 Most Powerful Celebrities In Africa by Forbes magazine. Kidjo has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2002 and the vice-president of CISAC since 2013. For a number of years, Kidjo has been campaigning with "Africa for Women's Rights," a campaign launched by the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH). Kidjo was announced as one of 14 Peace Ambassadors to support the implementation of the 2010 Year of Peace and Security programme by the Commission of the African Union. Along with Mary Louise Cohen and John R. Phillips, Kidjo founded the Batonga Foundation, which provides girls with secondary school and higher education so that they can take the lead in changing Africa. The foundation grants scholarships, builds secondary schools, increases enrollment, improves teaching standards, provides school supplies, supports mentor programs, explores alternative education models and advocates for community awareness of the value of education for girls. She is also an occasional contributor to The New York Times.