Growing Solar Power Access in Africa with Akon
Well-known artist and R&B singer Akon took fans by surprise in 2015 when he announced his vision to bring solar power to millions of Africans who are currently living without access to electricity. Determined to bring his dream into reality, Akon developed a social enterprise called Akon Lighting Africa which now operates in at least fifteen African countries.
The project aims to bring light to roughly 600 million people living in sub-Saharan Africa. But that’s not all; earlier this year, Akon announced that he and his partners would be launching the Solektra Solar Academy which aims to empower locals to engineer, install and manage solar power in their communities. Topics covered at the academy include the development of decentralised rural electrification systems and general dynamics of the solar market to name a few.
In an interview with TriplePundit, Akon said that the idea behind the project was to promote inclusive development by bringing light to Africa. He went on to explain, “creating the first African institute entirely dedicated to solar technologies in Mali, and welcoming students coming from various countries around Africa, is a way to anticipate and accompany the solar revolution — now we will need more and more expertise and skill across the whole continent.”
By providing trainees with the necessary equipment and instilling them with the best practical training, Akon is helping create a more sustainable future in Africa for thousands of youngsters.
“To us, trying to bring light to Africa without supporting youth empowerment and skills development could not be sustainable over the long term. The Solektra Solar Academy is the logical extension of our ambitions, and we hope to be able to identify amongst trainees future employees for Solektra International,” he says.
Read the full interview.