Akon, the multi platinum hip hop recording artist, has set his sights on a brighter future for Africa, with his Akon Lighting Africa program. The initiative, in partnership withGive1Project and ADS Global Corporation SA, is on track to bring clean electricity to one million African homes by the end of 2014.
The pop star wants to give back to the continent he grew up on by alleviating the crisis situation for millions of families in Africa living without electricity. About 550 million people live without access to electricity in Africa, and 25 African countries are experiencing an energy crisis, according to the World Bank. Just 1 percent of private-sector energy investment currently flows into the continent. Akon is stepping in to help Africa harness some of its vast natural resources by creating clean energy for homes and communities.
The American music star was raised in the West African country of Senegal without electricity, so he understands the hardship of not having access to power. After coming to the U.S. with his father and making a name for himself in the music industry, Akon has decided to give back to Africa something it direly needs: clean energy for homes.
The Akon Lighting Africa project will harness one of Africa’s greatest resources – the sun – to power houses with efficient, clean energy. The initiative includes installing solar-powered street lights and residential solar systems in African villages, as well as solar equipment in African households. The clean energy provided to homes will allow millions of children to have access to electricity and improve their education through extended study hours.
Akon is touring nine African countries – Senegal, Mali, Guinea Conakry, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo and the Ivory Coast – in nine days to meet with leaders about the solar-powered project. In partnership with the movement to bring clean energy to African homes, an alliance was signed between the private entities: Akon Corp, SOLEKTRA International – BYD Solar, Azuri Technologies UK, NARI (Member of China Grid Group), CJI, the non-governmental organization Give1Project and the governments of different African nations to support the initiative.