Singer/producer, Akon, is doing something amazing for his homeland of Africa and has been working hard to launch his initiative to provide electricity to 600 million people across Africa with the Solar Academy.
The Akon Lighting Africa project, which he began in January 2014, is an initiative near and dear to the singer’s heart as he grew up in Senegal with no electricity.
“I was one of those kids you see running around with no shoes on living in straw huts,” Akon said in Washington on Monday. “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 Solar Academy, located in Bamako, Mali, will help African engineers and entrepreneurs develop skills that will allow them to create solar power. Experts will also assist participants with training and equipment.
The goal of the academy is to teach individuals how to maintain solar-powered electricity systems and microgrids. Both of the systems have been rapidly growing in rural areas of Africa. Africa, which only has 320 days of sunlight a year, will give the people of this continent the chance to use its natural resources to the solar-energy efforts.
Samba Baithily, co-founder of the Akon Lighting Africa project, released this statement:
“We have the sun and innovative technologies to bring electricity to homes and communities. We now need to consolidate African expertise.”
They would also like to help create jobs with this initiative.
“We expect the Africans who graduate from this center to devise new, innovative, technical solutions,” said Thione Niang (co-founder of Akon Lighting Africa). “With this academy, we can capitalize on Akon Lighting Africa and go further.”
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