Have you heard…?
Akon is bringing electricity to 600 million people in Africa!
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Akon? Music! For those not familiar with Akon’s music or background; he is better known as the Senegalese-American R&B and hip hop recording artist, songwriter, and record producer who founded the 2 record labels “Konvict Muzik” and “Kon Live Distribution”.
He has been featured numerously on the Billboards, been awarded multiple platinum status songs, released songs in multiple languages and has also been featured in the Guinness Book of World Records as the #1 selling artist for master ringtones in the world.
In 2010, Forbes ranked Akon 80th in “Forbes Celebrity 100” and in 2011, ranked him 5th in “40 Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa”.
Akon’s Africa Ties
Akon is very generous with the wealth that he earns and is a firm believer of giving back to the community, especially in Africa. He has his own charity for underprivileged children in Africa called Konfidence Foundation.
Akon owns a diamond mine in South Africa and is partial-owner of an African mine dedicated to avoiding use of blood diamonds.
Profits of these mines get donated to the local communities where these mines are based.
Powering Africa with Solar Energy
Akon has decided to put the brakes on his career in music, to concentrate on bringing solar energy to 600 million people living across rural Africa. Last year (2014) Akon set up a charity organisation called Lighting Africa, and has also since, opened a Solar Academy as part of his efforts.
Lighting Africa Charity Organisation:
Akon partnered with Samba Baithily and Thione Niang to form Akon Lighting Africa. The Organisation has noted that solar power electricity and micro-grids are already taking off in rural Africa.” The continent, their statement argues, has over 120 days of sun a year, making it that much easier to harness solar power. Akon’s goals are two-fold: both to provide clean alternative energy and great, meaningful jobs. The Academy will help empower people all across educational levels to build the electricity that’s going to light their homes.
In an interview with Reuters, they said: “We have the sun and innovative technologies to bring electricity to homes and communities. We now need to consolidate African expertise.”
The Solar Academy, based in Mali aims to help Entrepreneurs and train Engineers to produce solar power.
In an interview with Reuters, they said: “We expect the Africans who graduate from this center to devise new, innovative, technical solutions.”
With the Solar Academy pushing boundaries in solar power industries in Africa, capitalising on the Akon Lighting Foundation and driving the research on utilising solar energy for Africa Development, Akon is bringing awareness to the needs of, not only rural Africans but also bringing awareness to the basic needs of the people on our beloved continent.
Akon has a passion for Giving Africa better hope and he believes that this project in Solar Power will do just that. We think that this is a great initiative and that more celebrities should take a page from Akon’s book and focus on endorsing meaningful projects such as this.
We will be watching closely. 🙂
Jobs in Solar Power jobs in Africa
Read more about Akon’s solar Power activities by clicking one of these links:
PS: I’m hosting a LIVE Questions & Answers session tomorrow at 11:00AM GMT +2
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