These days, everybody had heard the name Akon. The singer was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and spent much of his childhood in the West African country Senegal, which he describes as his “hometown”. Growing up in New Jersey, Akon had difficulties getting along with other children. When he and his older brother reached high school, his parents left them on their own in Jersey City and moved the rest of the family to Atlanta, Georgia.
Akon – lighting Africa
Back in 2007 Akon launched an organisation called Konfidence Foundation which had the purpose to raise the levels of literacy and education for African and American children, as well to support and improve the health conditions in Senegal, West Africa and United States.
Now, his new initiative called Akon Lighting Africa aims to bring solar power energy to 600 million people in rural Africa who don’t have electricity.
Today, 600 million Africans still don’t have access to electricity, particularly in rural areas.
In many parts of Africa, night-time economic activities are practically non-existent. Women cannot make productive use of their time to carry out the most basic household tasks. Children who help the women cannot study at night without proper light and complete their homework by candle light, an additional expense for parents. Moreover, without access to electricity, over 3.5 million Africans die every year from harmful pollutants or fires in the home produced by costly and toxic solid fuels.
With 320 days of sunshine a year, Africa is a perfect location for solar power, but yet lacks experts and technicians who would have the knowledge necessary to bring innovative sustainable technologies to African territories.
“We have the sun and innovative technologies to bring electricity to homes and communities. We now need to consolidate African expertise and that is our objective,” said Samba Baithily, co-founder of Akon Lighting Africa.
The Akon Lighting Africa initiative has brightened 14 countries in just one year and plans to launch campaigns in an additional 11 countries by the end of 2016.
For this purpose, Akon plans to open a ‘Solar Academy’ this summer in Bamako, Mali. Training and equipment provided by European specialists will give Solar Academy graduates all the necessary knowledge and skills to implement his ambitious project.
In less than one year, thanks to a private-public partnership model and a well-established network of partners a wide range of quality solar solutions, including street lamps, domestic and individual kits, have been installed in 14 African countries.
ALA plans to help light all of Africa by 2020. Now this a cool initiative that can change the world!
What do you think about this? Would you support Akon in his initiative?