This Wednesday, Ben Affleck testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as an expert on Africa. Yes, Ben Affleck: actor-director Ben Affleck, Argo Ben Affleck and, lest we forget, J-Lo Ben Affleck. Ben Affleck, whose tuxedo stands a decent chance of being analyzed on live television during the Oscars this Sunday. He was invited to guide American lawmakers on their policy toward the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ridiculous, right? Actually, no. Affleck has been involved in eastern Congo for years now. In 2010, he set up an organization called the Eastern Congo Initiative after making repeated visits to the region. It raises money and funnels it to local civil society organizations. Affleck’s commitment and sustained engagement means that if you’re looking for an advocate who has some clue about what’s actually going on and doesn’t need to take his lines from a teleprompter, you could do a whole lot worse. Continue reading From Ben Affleck and George Clooney to Madonna and Bono: A scorecard for celebrities in Africa