In a first for the newspaper, The Globe and Mail will be edited on May 10 by two guest editors - anti-poverty activists Bono and Bob Geldof - who will produce a special issue focused on the future of Africa and its importance not just for the more than 1 billion people living on that continent, but for Canadians and the rest of the West as well.
The Globe is partnering with Bono, Geldof, and their organization ONE to explore these issues in advance of Canada hosting two critically important summits of world leaders in June - the G8 and the G20. The crisis of extreme poverty in developing countries, particularly in Africa, will be a focus at both meetings. This will be the first time the Globe has invited guest-editors into the newsroom, and the first time Bono and Geldof have guest-edited a North American newspaper.
Bolstering the online and new media component of this project, The Globe and Mail has asked celebrated Kenyan activist and blogger Ory Okolloh to join the team as guest digital editor of globeandmail.com on May 10. Okolloh will also oversee four weeks of additional content from and about Africa which will run through early June and the G8/G20 meetings.
"As the only Canadian newspaper with an African bureau, The Globe has dedicated resources and reporters to deliver in-depth and ground-breaking news as it relates to Africa, its people and the issues that matter most," said Globe and Mail publisher Phillip Crawley. "Bono and Sir Bob have valuable insights and knowledge on the future of Africa, and The Globe is delighted to collaborate with them to bring a new perspective to Canada."
The Globe's Africa correspondent Geoffrey York, who regularly reports on evolving issues, and news from the continent, is exploring several bellwether stories for the May 10 edition.
"I'm a huge fan of great journalism - I can't wait to show up for work at The Globe. Our aim in this special edition is to crack down on a few stereotypes and showcase the opportunities surrounding the African continent, not just the problems," said Bono.
"The world will be coming to and looking at Canada this June. The older and the emerging economies will be once again be struggling to learn the new 21st century dance of cooperation and possibly even compromise, and this time under Canada's leadership. The Globe and Mail, one of the world's great papers of record, has, in a mad rush of blood to the head, agreed to let two Irish pop-singers edit their august journal for one special day, one special edition," said Mr. Geldof.
"It will be dedicated to that huge, emerging resource continent of Africa and the global necessity of coming to terms with its opportunities and obstacles. I've gone from being an old editor of the Vancouver Georgia Straight to the new editor of The Globe and Mail and it's only taken 36 years! Now that's a career trajectory," he added.
The special edition will feature content and comment contributions from African political leaders, thinkers and grassroots activists; it will also include contributions from other well-known international political leaders and advocates.
"It will be a pleasure to hand over the editor's chair to people who have given decades of their lives to the cause of bringing world attention to Africa, a place that is now a very different, and more aspiring, continent than we've ever known it to be," added John Stackhouse, editor-in-chief of The Globe and Mail. "I know Bono and Geldof will bring startling and stimulating conversations to the newspaper, and Ory to our website. It's an honour to share the newsroom with such an esteemed team, and I'm delighted to extend this experience to our readers."
Send in your letter to the editor on Africa
Bono and his co-editors Bob Geldof and Kenyan activist Ory Okolloh will be guest-editing a special Africa edition of The Globe and Mail, this Monday, May 10. Please send us your thoughts on how to "fix" Africa and we will consider them for the letters section of Monday's paper.