THAT’S NOT HOW IT WORKS. THAT’S NOT HOW ANY OF IT WORKS – According to, Rihanna shapes Australia’s foreign aid policy:


This is what star power looks like.

A tweet from pop superstar Rihanna asking Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to contribute to girls education has led to a donation of $90 million through the Global Partnership for Education.

On Thursday, Rihanna used her 86 million Twitter followers to urge the Australian and UK governments to commit to ensuring education for the world’s poorest ahead of an international conference with French President Emmanuel Macron and Senegalese President Macky Sall.

“Hi @JulieBishopMP & @TurnbullMalcolm will you step up w/ a $200M pledge to #FundEducation at the @GPforEducation conference in Senegal tomorrow?” she asked, followed by a tweet to UK leader Theresa May.

No,, this is not what star power looks like. A celebrity doesn’t tweet to a government asking for tens of millions of dollars for a favourite cause, and the government officials think “Shit! Quick, we better donate some money tomorrow!”. Global Partnership for Education is a well established international body with regular funding rounds and equally regular commitments from governments and non-government organisations. If the conference with pledges is taking place tomorrow, the funding decision (yes or no; most likely yes; how much) would have been in the pipeline for up to a year now, going through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Julie Bishop would have signed off on the decision to contribute as well as the quantum of the contribution months ago. Tweets from Rihanna, who is an “ambassador” for the Global Partnership for Education, the day before the conference are just posturing for publicity, even if in a good cause. And breathless stories like
rihannaare pure bullshit from people who either don’t know or don’t care how governments work.