Singer Akon has announced the launching of his “Solar Academy” as part of his Akon Lighting Africa initiative. He aims to help some of the 600 million Africans who have no electricity.
The Solar Academy is scheduled to open this summer in Bamako, Mali’s capital. African engineers and entrepreneurs will be trained by European experts who will also supply the equipment. The project is under the patronage of Solektra International, a partner of Akon Lighting Africa. Every aspect of installing and maintaining solar-powered electric systems will be taught, particularly in micro –grids which have become prevalent in rural Africa.
Harnessing the sunshine is more than investing in clean energy. The project is also investing in human capital. Africa is the continent with the youngest population and its biggest challenge is training people and creating sustainable employment.
Akon is a Senegalese-American hip-hop singer, R&B recording artist, businessman, songwriter and producer.