As of today, 600 Million Africans still don’t have access to electricity. Multi-platinum recording artist Akon is doing something to change that by bringing solar power to millions of households in over 20 countries on the African continent with his new Akon Lighting Africa initiative.
“I was one of those kids you see running around with no shoes on living in straw huts,” said Akon. “I was blessed to be able to come to the U.S. with my dad and I’ve seen a better life, but it really hurts a lot knowing that Africa has all these resources and we haven’t fully taken advantage of it.”
The program operates in 14 African countries, including Senegal, Mali, and Burkina Faso. Akon Lighting Africa has also partnered with the Give1Project, a leadership-development nonprofit, and ADS Global Corporation SA.
But don’t call it a charity. “I get tired of hearing that Africa is a charity case,” Akon commented. “Africa is wide open for business, and we’ve found a good business model. Africa will never run out of sun.”
In addition to this great project, Akon Lighting has recently announced the creation of a Solar Academy to train and develop the future solar power workforce and create sustainable employment opportunities.