Africa is to get its own Live 8 concert, welcoming the event to the continent whose problems it aims to highlight, Irish rocker Bob Geldof said Thursday.
Geldof and other organizers of the awareness-raising campaign had been criticized by artists and activists who said the lineup of stars for the original five concerts in Europe and the United States ignored African artists.
In his home town of Dublin to receive an honorary doctorate, Geldof said additional concerts would be held in Tokyo and Toronto, meaning the gigs would now cover the world's seven wealthiest countries as well as its poorest continent, Africa.
Geldof said he would officially give details of the South African concert Friday.
"I'll . . . announce Johannesburg tomorrow, which will be Live 8 Africa. Mandela, if he's well enough, will bring [it] to the world with an announcement from Johannesburg," he said of his friend Nelson Mandela, the former South African president.
Geldof hopes the concerts will help pressure Group of Eight leaders, who are meeting in Scotland July 6-8, to tackle the problem of poverty in Africa.
Those who feel that in the process he has ignored African acts in favor of established stars such as Madonna, Paul McCartney, U2 and Stevie Wonder have organized an alternative "Africa Calling" concert to be held in southwest England. British artist Peter Gabriel and Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour are the driving forces behind the spinoff.
But Geldof told journalists at University College Dublin that the concerts were about more than raising awareness of African issues.
Describing last week's G-8 decision to cancel $40 billion of impoverished nations' debt as a "fantastic victory," the rock campaigner said politicians must now tackle aid and trade.
"How do we create domestic heat to pressure them into doing something they don't particularly want to do?" he asked. "We will not get there if we don't do ludicrous circuses like giant concerts . . . and stars being rallied."
Geldof had originally coordinated five main concerts to be held on July 2 at venues in London, Berlin, Paris, Rome and Philadelphia -- 20 years after his original Live Aid charity shows in London and Philadelphia.
But he decided to turn up the heat on other developed countries after European Union ministers voted last month to hike development spending.
"I didn't want to do a concert in Tokyo . . . or Toronto, which we're announcing tomorrow," he said, adding with a heavy sigh: "I've got better things to do with my life, you know."
Asked about rumors that Michael Jackson, acquitted Monday after a 31/2-month trial on child molestation charges, might take part in the concerts, Geldof said the issue had not come up.
If Jackson sought to participate, "I'd say: 'Dude, there's plenty of time. I don't think you should really put yourself through something as strenuous as Live 8 at such a fragile stage in your life.' "