Colin Powell Bigs Up Africa Show
Ex-US Secretary of State Colin Powell has joined a hip hop band on stage in London to dance and sing in a celebration of African culture. America's former top diplomat took centre stage along with Nigerian group Olu Maintain at the Africa Rising Festival in the Royal Albert Hall. More seriously, he said his own black identity mattered as much as ever. He told the audience that Africa, with hard work and foreign investment, could prosper like Asia and Eastern Europe. US pop singer Christina Aguilera and UK-born soul singer Seal also performed at the event which saw fashion collections by Ozwald Boateng and Deola Sagoe. 'Africa's turn' "I stand before you tonight as an African American," Mr Powell said. "Many people have said to me you became secretary of state of the USA, is it still necessary to say that you are an African American or that you are black, and I say, yes, so that we can remind our children. "It took a lot of people struggling to bring me to this point in history. I didn't just drop out of the sky, people came from my continent in chains." A lot of wrongs had been done to Africa by Western powers faced with "an iron curtain and a bamboo curtain", he said in an apparent reference to the USSR and communist China. But these barriers had fallen, he argued. "Asia is expanding, it created jobs for people, and Eastern Europeans are doing the same... it's now Africa's turn." Colin Powell, a distinguished former military commander, served as US secretary of state during the first term of the Bush administration, 2001-2005.
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