ADDIS ABEBA – Singer and songwriter Betty G, a multiple AFRIM Award-winner and one of Africa’s fast-rising music stars, today became a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.
“I am humbled and honored to have been selected to serve refugees who are among the world’s most vulnerable people,” said Betty Gat the appointment ceremony, which was held this morning in Addis Ababa.
“I’m fully committed to this noble cause”.
Her appointment ceremony was combined with the commemoration of International Women’s Day taking into consideration Betty G’s keen interest in women’s empowerment.
Born as Bruktwait Getahun, Betty G catapulted to stardom in 2015 following the release of her debut album Manew Fitsum which earned her a huge following.
She gained fame across Africa following her appearances in Coke Studio Africa and her subsequent nomination for six AFRIMA awards, winning in three of them in 2018.
Betty G also performed Yamlu Mola’s “Sin Jaalada” and ‘Hagere’ at the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo.
Prior to becoming a Goodwill Ambassador, Betty G served as UNHCR’s High Profile Supporter and visited a number of refugee camps in Ethiopia hosting South Sudanese, Eritrean and Somali refugees.
Speaking to reporters, she called upon the international community to help Ethiopia help the over 850,000 refugees the country generously hosted at the time.
The UNHCR Representative in Ethiopia, Ann Encontre, congratulated Betty G on her nomination and commended her for her personal commitment and the important contributions she has already made to the refugee cause over the last couple of years.
“Your nomination has come at an opportune moment when the world has shown a renewed commitment to support generous hosts like Ethiopia to help the refugees together with the communities that host them,” she said.
Encontre said Betty G’s advocacy and fundraising work has inspired others to support UNHCR’s work and underscored that UNHCR very much looks forward to working with her to help Ethiopia help refugees not just to survive but also to thrive together with the communities that host them.
At the ceremony, Betty G commended the Ethiopian people and Government for hosting a large number of refugees for a long period of time.
“I’m proud t0 be a citizen of a country that is willing to always keep its borders open for those in need,” she said. “By becoming UNHCR National Goodwill Ambassador, I wish to stand behind such incredible acts of hospitality and humanity,” she added.
When reflecting on her interactions with refugees, she described how women defied all odds and remained hopeful.
“In the Afar Region I met with women who organized themselves in self-help associations and were engaged in small-scale businesses,” she said.
“I was amazed by these women; they have been forced to flee and passed through a lot, but they still find the courage and strength to learn new skills, find new ways to make a living and help their families achieve a better future.”
She called for more international support to help Ethiopia help the refugees and the host communities in the different regions. Goodwill Ambassadors are some of the most recognizable public faces who help UNHCR in advocating on behalf of refugees through their influence, dedication and hard work.