Rapper Akon Pledges to Bring Solar Power to 600 Million in Africa

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MINNEAPOLIS — In May of 2015, R&B singer, Rapper and music producer  Akon announced that he has created an organization that will use new initiative to provide solar power to over 600 million residents of Africa. Akon, who’s real name is Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Bongo Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam (Yes, we’re serious) is a Senegalese-American celebrity and is the latest to step up in what some are calling a “solar revolution” that’s bringing an alternative energy source to the poverty stricken yet sun drenched streets of Africa.

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The ‘Akon Lighting Africa’ plan begins with the opening of a new “Solar Academy,” which will open it’s doors this summer in the capital of Mali, Bamako. The school will teach solar engineers how to install and sustain solar panels and small electrical grids that provide power to a very limited area. “Micro-grids” are used more often in rural Africa, where bigger more convenient power sources are unavailable.

A reporter from an African publication reported:

“Africa has 320 days of sunshine a year,  so harnessing solar energy is an ideal way to enable those 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 Baithily, who founded Akon Lighting Africa with Akon and Thione Niang.”

According to many different reports, Akon Lighting Africa has been granted a credit line of line of up to $1 billion from construction calvacade China Jiangsu International and all work will begin with the most low-resource, poverty stricken areas. Already praised for his humanitarian successes in his native Senegal, Akon’s level of love, compassion and humanity worldwide will sky-rocket once this project is completed.

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With about 600 million Africans living without electricity, the organization is prepared to take on a huge problem. But they’re far from alone when it comes to wanting to bring change to lives in Africa through this new energy source — solar energy is increasingly seen as a positive alternative and a money making opportunity on the continent.

Women are leading a “solar revolution” in Africa and the organization ‘Green Energy Africa’ has helped over 200 women from Kenya’s Kajiado County become working solar power entrepreneurs:

“The women, trained in solar panel installation, use donkeys to haul their solar wares from home to home in the remote region, giving families their first access to clean and reliable power.

‘For us, the impact of solar technology is unparalleled,’ said Jackline Naiputa, who heads the Osopuko-Edonyinap group, one of the five women’s groups leading the alternative energy charge in the area.”

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Still, it’s not only Africa that sees the benefits of solar power. According to reports: “By 2050, analysts from the International Energy Association (IEA) believe the sun could be the world’s largest source of power.”

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Watch News24’s interview with South African solar entrepreneurs below

And an interview with Akon himself about his new organization

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