Africa Works, this ad campaign from Benetton promotes the Birima micro-credit programme in Senegal, a co-operative credit society founded by the Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour. The programme will also receive financial support from Benetton Group. Photographer James Mollison portrays working men and women with the tools of their trade against a neutral background.
They include, amongst others, a fisherman, a decorator, a musician, a jewellery-maker, a farmer, a tailor, two textile sellers and a boxer. These everyday people become tangible symbols of an Africa that uses the dignity of work to fight poverty, promote equitable development, maximise its resources and take back responsibility for creating its future.
Youssou N’Dour, one of Africa’s best-known singers and a man committed to humanitarian projects, comments: “my personal experience led me to realise that when a loan, however small, is used to develop an idea or realise a project, it is an effective way of fighting poverty. This is why everybody must understand the value of micro-credit. Africa doesn't want charity, it wants repayable subsidised loans.”