Bob Marley's widow, Rita, today (Sept. 5) confirmed that the 2007 "Africa Unite" festivities will take place in three South African cities next February.

Bob Marley's widow, Rita, today (Sept. 5) confirmed that the 2007 "Africa Unite" festivities will take place in three South African cities next February.

The month-long celebration, now in its third year, will begin with an opening ceremony in the coastal city of Durban Feb. 6, 2007, on what would have been Marley's 62nd birthday. A benefit concert will take place the following day in Durban.

Two further concerts will take place; the Africa Unite For Empowerment Benefit Concert on Feb. 17 in Johannesburg, and the Africa Unite for Peace Benefit Concert on Feb. 24 in Cape Town. Venues and artists for these concerts will be confirmed in the coming months. Mrs Marley revealed members of her family will be among the performers.

Other planned activities include the launch of Rita Marley's book, "No Woman No Cry", the Africa Unite "You Can't Blame the Youth" education symposium and workshops from Feb. 9 - 13, and a "One Love" fundraising dinner on Feb. 14 at Johannesburg's Constitutional Hill.

The Bob Marley and The Rita Marley Foundations will stage Africa Unite in partnership with Thirty-Three Productions, Inc, based in Los Angeles, with Mrs Marley taking the role of executive director for the event. Johannesburg-based Showtime management will be an Africa Unite 2007 partner, responsible for staging the trio of benefit concerts.

Both Thirty-Three and Showtime mounted the May 2006 Peapod Benefit Concert in Johannesburg, which featured the Black Eyed Peas.

Addressing a press conference at the University of Johannesburg, Marley said today that the choice of South Africa to host the third Africa Unite was part of a "divine order" that began in Ethiopia (2005) and then moved to Ghana (2006), where she now lives.

"We are now coming to South Africa -- it's for South Africans at home and abroad to realize that we are part of it (uniting Africa); it's not just leaving it to the government to make decisions and tell us what to do ... We are going to stick with it until we see African unification."

Executive producer of Africa Unite 2007 and president/CEO of Thirty-Three Productions, Inc, Christine Hansen told reporters that the focus of next year's events will be on Africa's youth.

"Mrs Rita Marley and her family are inspired to bring to life the words of the late Bob Marley to spread the spirit, legacy and message of Africa Unite and create, hope and sustainable change for youth throughout Africa," she said.

Africa Unite is collaborate with the Emerging Leadership Programme, initiated by the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre (an initiative of Nobel Peace Laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu), the Ubuntu Institute (an organization that focuses on the development of young African entrepreneurs) and the Shanduka Foundation's Adopt-a-School Programme (also a beneficiary of the Peapod Foundation's May concert in South Africa).

In announcing Africa Unite 2007, Mrs Marley also revealed that the initiative would return to South Africa in 2010, the year the country hosts the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament.

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