Akon Plans to Bring Electricity to 600 Million People in Africa
Akon is using his fame to do something amazing. He grew up in Kaolack, Senegal without electricity. Last year, he introduced his initiative called Akon Lighting Africa. The goal is to bring electricity to millions of Africans through solar energy. To achieve this goal, he installed solar street lamps and panels in 14 African countries. Now, he is taking another big step.
Providing Power To Millions
Africa’s relative lack of electricity has presented serious impediments to economic growth. “I always had a passion for Africa because I am from Africa and I always felt Africa was being taken advantage of,” Akon says. Now he can give back. “As a celebrity you can influence millions of people, which makes it a lot easier. Things can happen a lot faster, and I like to take advantage of that and find more ways to bring opportunities to Africa.”
Helping Solve A Major Problem
The lack of access to electricity hinders infrastructure and growth. People must get light from candles or kerosene; this is expensive and gives off toxic fumes. Shops close early, roads are hazardous, and food and medicine cannot be properly refrigerated. Now the next step is to build a Solar Academy in Bamako, Mali. This academy will teach the skills needed to create and maintain these solar systems to local engineers. This program will help create jobs and improve infrastructure. This is investing in more than power, this is investing in the people.