Didier Drogba of Côte d'Ivoire is the leading scorer in both the English Premier League and the UEFA Champions League. He became an Ambassador on 24 January 2007. Drogba has previously collaborated with several charities and organizations and has long been active in mobilizing support for the eradication of poverty. He has also participated in several HIV/AIDS campaigns, and will continue to focus on this issue and its implications for human rights and women's empowerment.
As UNDP Goodwill Ambassador, Drogba has appeared in numerous public service announcements on television and in magazines such as Time, Newsweek and The Financial Times, raising awareness of Africa’s challenges and calling for support to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) there.
Despite his worldwide success and global travel, Drogba says he will never forget his origins. “I have been given opportunities to succeed in life, but I constantly think about the ones who did not have this chance,” he said, adding that it is up to each of us, whatever our occupation, to try and make a difference.
In 2010, Drogba featured in a campaign to call attention to how democratic and transparent elections around the world could be an important tool for lifting some of the world’s poorest countries out of poverty. A poster (PDF, 3MB), featuring Drogba poised for a penalty shoot in the home orange-green colours of Côte d'Ivoire’s national team, carries a message for potential voters to “Get on the pitch, and be a player. Register. Vote. Be heard.”
Also in 2010, Drogba launched "Kick out Poverty" with Zidane, a TV spot appealing for the world to live up to the challenge and join the team that will beat poverty. The multilingual public service announcement was broadcast during the World Cup in South Africa with the aim to bolster efforts to meet the MDGs by 2015. “There can be no spectators in the fight against poverty,” says Drogba. “We all need to be on the pitch to improve the lives of millions of poor people in this world.”
In 2009, Drogba teamed up against poverty on a UNDP advertisement to garner support for achieving the eight MDGs in Africa. World-renowned photographer John Rankin Waddell photographed the football star for this series of UNDP pro bono advertisements. The advertisement is part of a campaign created by the advertising agency Leagas Delaney that revolves around the concept of "Teaming Up Against Poverty" to achieve the MDGs. It features celebrities from the worlds of sports, arts, fashion or business. The advertisement is linked to the celebration of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa, in light of the fact that it is the first time that Africa is hosting one of the greatest international sporting events.
In 2008, Drogba participated in two TV spots on cluster munitions / armed violence addressed to governments and to the general public, which were launched at the opening sessions of Ministerial Summits on Armed Violence and regional Conference on Cluster Munitions. In 2008 he was also member of the jury in UNDP Red Ribbon Awards, an initiative that awards NGO’s throughout the world on their work on HIV/AIDS issues.