Akon ,the singer ,songwriter,producer philanthropist and entrepreneur was born in St. Louis, Missouri to African parents. His family returned to Dakar
Senegal, in West Africa when Akon was still very young. They moved back to the United States when he was seven years old. Akon’s mother Kine Thiam,was an African dancer and his father Mor Thiam is a renowned African jazz percussionist of which I had the honor to work with on numerous occasions. Thanks to their influence ,Akon heard and loved music and Africa from an early age.
Providing Clean ,Sustainable Energy to the 1.1 billion people currently now living without,has a new champion with a loud voice and a global reach. Akon R&B singer and founder of the Akon Lighting Africa initiatives, teamed up with Sustainable Energy For All (SE4All) this week in New York.Lending his voice to the course and participated in the second annual SE4All Forum .
Besides making Akonbeats and being a 6 times Grammy nominee, Senegalese American born singer Akon has partnered up with Samba Baithily and Thione Niang to light up Africa.
In an interview Akon explained that it has always been his dream to meet the needs of people in Africa including 600 million who have no electricity. Considering that more than 65% of the population is the youth.
AKON LIGHTING AFRICA announced the launch of the academy at the second United Nations Sustainable Energy For All Forum in New York
AKON LIGHTING AFRICA initiative aims to bring electricity to some 600 million people in Africa who lack it.
On May 21st , Akon Lighting Africa announced the launch of a new ” Solar Academy” for Africa.The academy will aim to teach people how to install and maintain a solar- powered electricity systems as well as micro grids,which really took off exceedingly well in rural Africa.The institution is scheduled to open in the summer in Bamako, Mali’ s Capital.
In a statement AkonLghtingAfrica organization said,”Africa has 320 days of sunshine per year,so harnessing solar energy is an ideal way to enable those to without electricity to get it. We have the sun and innovative technologies to bring electricity to
homes and communities We now need to consolidate African expertise “said Samba Baintily.
” Seventy percent of Africans are under 35, and creating sustainable jobs is vital,” the group said. “So investing in solar power for the future can help in more ways than one.We expect the Africans who graduate from this center to devise new innovative,technical solutions,” said Niang. “With this Academy,we can capitalise on Akon Lighting Africa and go further.”
Akon explained that meeting the needs of millions of people in Africa including the 600 million who have no electricity has always been a dream of his. Considering that more than 65% of Africa’s population is the youth “he further went on to say, “Akon Lighting Africa,wanted to get youth more educated and involved in what needs to happen in order for Africa to prosper.
” Without infrastructure,Africa can’t grow in the way it needs to grow. And without energy, the infrastructure can’t even begin. For all these reasons he said, ” Energy is the key to Africa’s development “. Akon Lighting Africa is already in 14 countries in it’s developing stages.
Author : Isabelle Doll Ngcobo.
International Media Correspondent