Since 2014, Akon has blessed millions of African homes with electricity through his self-founded Solektra company and the Akon Lighting Africa Initiative.
The international artist and business man founded Solektra Solar Academy on 15 December in Bamako, Mali.
A week ago Akon arrived Gambia to launch the light initiative and other youth empowerment programs.
In a previous interview, Akon has mentioned that it is his passion to see practical growth and development in Africa. Constantly refuting the idea of foreign aid, and underscoring the basic need of power supply in growing the African economy, Akon has taken the bull by the horn.
Instead of waiting for the mystery savior, Akon founded the Solektra company and in partnership with 2 other Africans- Samba Baithily & Thione Niang – the Akon Lighting Initiative was born.
Already the program which has raised about $1 billion has seen the production and installation of street lights, domestic and individual kits in over 14 African countries. His recent visit to Gambia has increased the number of African countries benefiting from the lighting initiative.
Report says that the international artist and business man has launched his lighting Africa initiative in Gambia and Cape Verde. Akon says that hundreds of thousands of home solar systems and street lights have been installed across African villages.
With the Akon Lighting Africa project the superstar hopes to provide millions of African homes with affordable electricity. He intends to cover 42 African countries by the year 2020.
Akon who owns a diamond mine in South Africa says that his motivation came from the desire to electrify his grandmother’s home in Senegal. From that thought he realized there was a much wider gap to fill.
“It was a way of just trying to figure out what solution would be necessary to get electricity there,”
“In the process, you start to realize how many people are out there lacking electricity, especially in Africa.”
As expected, the business has not come with so much ease. Akon describes the major challenge they faced in convincing African leaders who were skeptical about his solar energy business.
“We had to really prove ourselves from one country to the next until we were able to escalate in to 15 countries,”
Matching up his promises of fostering development in Africa, the award winning star in several occasions has pioneered projects to that effect.
From the first ever solar powered soccer pitch in Lagos, to the support for education and the lighting project, Akon is probably demonstrating more interest in the welfare of the African people than some of our leaders.
The lighting project has also helped to provide thousands of jobs for African youth.
Renewable energy is the trending energy source in Africa today. Rwanda for instance has massively embraced solar energy.
Akon’s recent visit to The Gambia also revealed his investment prospects for Cape Verde as he recently met with the Economy Minister, Jose Goncalves.