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By Paul Majendie
LONDON - Twenty years after Live Aid, Bob Geldof wants to change the world again, not by fund-raising for famine relief but by staging a concert to pressure world leaders into eradicating African poverty.
Geldof, dubbed "Saint Bob" for organising the 1985 concert to save the starving in Ethiopia, is to announce the line-up on Tuesday for Live8, a July 2 concert designed to influence the G8 group of industrialised nations' summit in Scotland.
"There is more than a chance that the boys and girls with guitars will finally turn the world on its axis," the dishevelled Irish rock star said.
Geldof's powers of persuasion -- his Irish charm is matched only by his penchant for expletives -- have ensured pop fans will be treated to a stellar cast for the concert, expected to be held in London.
The phones have been ringing as incessantly as they did 20 years ago, with Geldof seeking to persuade musicians to take part. Sting accepted, saying Geldof was a man who did not take no for an answer.
The event is expected to feature Irish rockers U2 and former Beatle Paul McCartney, who performed at the 1985 concerts which raised over $100 million for African famine relief.
The Rolling Stones, Eminem and Madonna could also appear and Pink Floyd and The Spice Girls may even re-form for the show.
RALLY TO PRESSURE LEADERS
In 1985, Geldof was shaking his collection bowl as aid agencies raced to save the dying in Ethiopia.
This time he wants to galvanise the world's richest nations into action against African poverty.
Prime Minister Tony Blair has campaigned to help Africa during Britain's presidency of the G8 this year and will host G8 leaders at a summit in Gleneagles in Scotland in July.
But campaigners fear discord between G8 nations on debt reduction and aid spending plans, combined with reluctance in Washington, will wreck Blair's ambitions.
They warn African schools and hospitals could receive no new money from the lavish summit, which could cost as much as 100 million pounds ($180 million) to stage.
"We are really concerned that we're a long, long way away from any kind of breakthrough on tackling poverty in Africa," said Oxfam policy adviser Max Lawson. (Additional reporting by Jeremy Lovell and Madeline Chambers)
Building a world with more evidence and less poverty (2018-2019 annual report) - World - ReliefWeb - Building a world with more evidence and less poverty (2018-2019 annual report) - World ReliefWeb
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