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Posted at 01:11 PM ET, 06/14/2012

Ben Affleck joins Twitter to raise awareness about Congo


Ben Affleck speaks at the USAID Child Survival Forum on Thursday. (Jacquelyn Martin - AP)
Ben Affleck has joined Twitter, not to tweet pictures of what he’s eating, get into beefs or make jokes (although we enjoy that!), but to raise awareness about Congo.

“Timing feels right to bring awareness to what’s happening in the #Congo today & to share my stories from this part of the world,” Affleck said in his first tweet Wednesday from the verified account.

The actor, who founded the “U.S. based advocacy and grant-making” Eastern Congo Initiative in 2009, is also using Twitter to promote an appearance he made Thursday morning at a USAID forum on child mortality.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also spoke at the forum, “Child Survival: A Call to Action,” which is currently being held in Washington. Video of the event can be streamed here until 5 p.m. ET today and will be archived in the same place after it ends.

According to a tweet from ABC News’s Dana Hughes (no relation to this writer), Affleck spent much of the speech “giving credit to Congolese doctors and activists.”

The actor testified before a congressional panel in 2011 about the issues facing the African region, the same year he joined forces with Cindy McCain.

“Since my first visit to Congo in 2006, I have witnessed efforts to improve governance, promote economic growth, and reduce conflict. Unfortunately, despite some positive movement, the record over the last five years is not promising,” Affleck said, according to CongoPlanet.com. He continued:

I have seen firsthand the determination and promise of Congolese citizens. They want to live their lives in peace, earn a decent living, and raise their families just like any of us. They would like a voice in their countries’ governance. I will never give in to the attitude that Congo is hopeless or too complex. It is not. The seventy million people of the Congo deserve a better tomorrow, and the Eastern Congo Initiative, Cindy [McCain] and I will work tirelessly to help.

By  |  01:11 PM ET, 06/14/2012

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