Despite being best known for making pop music, Akon‘s decided to give filling dancefloors a break in favour of bringing solar energy to people living in rural Africa.
The singer, who is of Senegalese-American descent, has opened a Solar Academy as part of his effort to bring electricity to 600 million people in rural communities across Africa.
Akon Lighting Africa is a project started in 2014 by former music artist Akon with Samba Bathily and Thione Niang which aims to provide electricity by solar energy in Africa. Their initial technique is to install Solar street lights and small energy systems.
REASON WHY AKON PROVIDED ELECTRICITY TO 600 MILLION PEOPLE IN AFRICA
According to Akon, he and Thione Niang grew up in Kaolack Region, Senegal in a town without electricity. In 2013 both decided to help drive Africa’s transformation. Samba Bathily joined them and provided targeted solutions through his company, Solektra INT, which supplies solar-powered equipment. By combining their networks, they launched the project in February 2014. The projects now provides electricity in 14 African countries and employs over 5,000 mainly young people who install and maintain solar equipment.
The group announced the launch of the solar academy in Bamako, Mali at the second United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Forum, in New York City. Solar Academy will teach students about using solar panels by which they can light Africa. Samba Bathily told in an interview: “We have the sun and innovative technologies to bring electricity to homes and communities. We now need to consolidate African expertise and that is our objective.”