Salif Traoré (A’salfo)

© Didier D. Daarwin
Mr. Salif Traoré (A’salfo), UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.

The Ivorian front man of the band Magic System Salif Traoré (A’salfo) was named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 2012, in recognition for his contribution to the promotion of literacy and his engagement against discrimination and injustice especially in deprived neighbourhoods.

In 1996, along with musicians Goudé, Tino and Manadja, he founded the band Magic System, inspired by the sounds of zouglou, an Abidjanese genre of music and dance. Soon finding a puplic and success locally and internationally with their “1er Gaou” album and 300 000 copies sold, the group has since been at the forefront of the Ivorian and French music scene with successful tours and albums.

Appointed Knight and then Officer of the Ivorian Order of Merit in 2001 and 2011, he participated in 2008 to the creation of the Festival of Urban Music of Anoumabo (FEMUA). The festival is held annually with the support of the UNESCO and its patronage for the 10th edition of 2017.

In June of 2016 the Magic System Foundation established, with African Artists for Development (AAD), a partnership in order to accommodate five “Magic Bibliothèques” (Libraries) for schools built by the Foundation. On 30 November 2016, the Foundation and the UNESCO office of Abidjan launched the project “Solarpak”, backpacks with solar panels to provide children with light for their homework when living in areas without electricity.

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