Grammy Award winner, multi-platinum artist, born as Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam was the recipient of an award at the Global Citizen Forum in Montenegro.
The 2017 Global Citizen Forum has honored Senegalese-American entertainer and businessman, Akon with an award for the results of his Lighting Africa initiative.
Akon has been doing a great job with Africa’s most rural communities.
Courtesy of his solar power project, about 17 countries now have access to electricity.
The recent award will be the second coming the artiste’s way this year for his lighting project. The star who attended the event in Montenegro with his wife, Danielle Howell says he has 31 more African countries to benefit from the project.
“With Akon Lighting Africa, our goal is to electrify all 48 countries that need electricity in Africa.”
Earlier in May, African Utility Week 2017 nominated Akon for the Outstanding Contribution Award(Power).
Akon has been in the business of providing Africa with renewable energy since 2014.
Few weeks ago, the Akon Lighting Africa Initiative was launched in Mozambique.
Akon reportedly entered into a $50 million partnership agreement with a Mozambican Non-profit organization, Machel Fidus Association. Together they intend to bring electricity to Mozambique’s rural communities.
According to the forum his work in Africa’s renewable energy has inspired African youths and indeed millions of people worldwide. Aside the provision of electricity, it has made life better and easier for dwellers of the beneficiary-communities. Most importantly it has considerably addressed unemployment by creating jobs for the people.
Akon traces the birth of this project to his grandmother’s refusal to leave the land, she calls “home”. From giving her access to electricity, Akon realized there were more people like her grandmother who needed the electricity. That’s how his company, Solektra was found.
The Global Citizen forum in Montenegro brings personalities and dignitaries from all walks of life together and rewards them. Most importantly they share progressive ideas that will give developmental changes in the society.
For this year’s focus, the forum addressed the increasing the awareness and funding support for the Caribbean and to highlight new global challenges the world is facing today.
Guests of the forum include government officials, business owners/investors, entrepreneurs, entertainers, international organizers, journalists and other notable personalities in the world.
For this year, the gathering was graced by the likes of Rwanda’s First Lady, Jeannette Kagame, Hollywood’s Robert De Niro, Eve, Wyclef, Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of World Bank amongst other renowned dignitaries.
The Global Citizen Forum in October raised US$400,000 for the Barbuda Reconstruction.
In his interview, Akon shared his passion for Africa to rise above its basic setbacks. He also proposes that more women should be in power.
“I think ultimately if we just realised that every problem could be eliminated by a simple conversation and us agreeing upon that this is the best thing for us to do minus the business side of it, because I think our well-being should always take precedence over making a dollar, then we can survive this.”
“And I think ultimately when you live in a life that has borders, it already starts to create a division that creates the problem in itself. So we get rid of the borders, collectively unite and I think things will be better.”