Annie Lennox has spoken of her determination to help Nelson Mandela in his campaign to lessen the impact of Aids in Africa.

The former Eurhythmics singer has been a high-profile campaigner against the disease and is the driving force behind the Sing project, which aims to improve treatment and access to HIV drugs in Africa.

Lennox has previously spoken of how she was spurred on to add her support to the campaign when she heard the former South African president deliver a passionate speech on the issue.

And having performed at Ellis Park in Johannesburg last month at a concert to mark World Aids Day where Mr Mandela again spoke, Lennox is determined to use her position to help boost awareness.

Speaking on the BBC's The Andrew Marr Show, she said it is "almost impossible" to understand that more people in Africa have died because of Aids "than the combined figures of two world wars".

"Life expectancy in many parts of Africa can be something around the age of 35 to 38. I mean you're very fortunate if you live to that age," she stated.

"This is something that actually everyone across the whole continent in Africa is either affected by Aids or infected."

She continued: "It took [Mr] Mandela a little bit of time to figure out what was actually happening with Aids because obviously he'd just come into power and there were so many things to assess.

"But finally when he realised what was actually happening in his country he really grasped it.

"And he decided to use people like myself, people that have got some kind of you know access to a broader audience."

Lennox's project focuses on the impact of Aids on women and children in Africa and she has enlisted the support of a number of fellow female stars including Madonna, Joss Stone, Anastacia, Celine Dion and the Sugababes.


06/01/2008 17:19:20