The 213 km Africa Ultra Race starts tomorrow morning in Banfora, Burkina Faso.
This will be my fifth major international multi-stage / desert race, and the fourth in Africa.
I am really excited about the race, not only to test myself in hot, challenging conditions and the distance which I have to complete, but also about the “real reason” why I have entered this race.
As with all my previous races of this nature, I’m again using it to support a social cause or campaign of special interest to me. I am dedicating my participation in this race to the work of the ONE Campaign in Africa.
ONE is a grassroots campaign and advocacy organisation backed by more than 3 million people who are committed to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Co-founded by Bono and other campaigners, ONE is nonpartisan and works closely with African policy-makers and activists.
I serve on the ONE Africa Policy Advisory Board and would like use the race as an opportunity to deepen my engagement with the work of ONE in Africa.
Africa is a changing continent – the pessimism and bad news stories of the past no longer represent the new emerging image of the continent. The new Africa will become a significant global political and economic force in coming years.
However, many development challenges remain, and it is critical that local and international development efforts aimed at uplifting the continent don’t lose any momentum.
ONE is at the forefront of raising awareness about the challenges facing Africa, including the obligations of the international community and African governments in this regard.
I attended the ONE Africa Policy Advisory Board and ONE Board meetings during the past week in Addis Ababa, and arrived in Burkina Faso highly motivated and deeply committed to continue serving and supporting the work of ONE in Africa in a meaningful manner.
ONE will use the five days of the race to raise awareness about five issues of specific interest to its work in Africa:
Day 1, 14 November – Technology
Day 2, 15 November – Health
Day 3, 16 November – Transparency
Day 4, 17 November – Agriculture
Day 5, 18 November – Energy
The ONE digital media team will use its various online and social media platforms to publish information about these issues as per the schedule above, and I will complement their efforts with updates from the race.
You can access the information and updates on the following platforms:
Twitter hashtag – #DavidDesertRun4ONE
You can also follow updates about the race on Ultra Africa Race Facebook page.
I hope that my participation in the Ultra Africa Race and all the mentioned efforts over the next five days will contribute to wider awareness and a deeper understanding of the important work of ONE in Africa.
Also follow updates about my desert races on my new Facebook page – Desert 2 Desert – Running for Social Causes and Campaigns.