Many know Akon for his artistic side, although many others know the Senegalese for his commitment to Africa and renewable energy. The R&B artist is currently working on the project Akon Lighting Africa, an initiative he launched with political activist Thione Niang and businessman Samba Bathily, and with which they hope to provide electricity to 600 million Africans by educating them about solar energy.
And it is that electricity shines by its absence in Africa, especially in rural areas, where night activity is zero. Housework cannot be done, children have to use candles for study – candles that are unaffordable for some families – and many fires occur due to the use of hazardous fuels.
According to Akon, he and Niang grew up without electricity in the Kaolack region of Senegal. Memories of their childhood made them eager to transform their continent with the help of Bathily, who collaborates by contributing resources from his company, Solektra INT.
Akon and his team decided to create a solar academy in Bamako, the capital of Mali, which would help educate the citizens of this place about renewable energy. Since the installation of this academy, much progress has been made in a few months, providing citizens with public lighting systems and also providing them with energy for small services and household kits.
In 2016, Akon and his team had already helped 18 African countries, convinced that by 2020, they will have helped 48 countries on the continent.
Among the places where the Solar Academy is concentrating its projects for the moment, we find countries like Nigeria, Senegal, Namibia, Madagascar or Sierra Leone.
Education in the use of solar energy.
The aim of the Akon project, in addition to lighting the public road and making household chores easier, is to share knowledge about solar energy with the African community, with the aim that it can be used everywhere. territory. However, this goal was not without complications. Among the difficulties encountered in the implementation of their project were, for example, complex negotiations with certain heads of state.
In addition to working on this rehabilitation, the Akon Lighting Africa project has employed thousands of young Africans who are participating in the installation of the necessary equipment to capture solar energy.
Official project website: akonlightingafrica.com