Akon With President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso Courtesy Photo
Philanthropist, business mogul and five-time Grammy nominated artist Akon has initiated a partnership to bring electricity to one million households in Africa by the end of 2014. As one of the leading recognized global music brands, Akon has chosen to address the immediate needs of Africans through an effort known as “Akon Lighting Africa.” This initiative will address the concern that more than two-thirds of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is without electricity, and that more than 85 percent of those living in rural areas lack access. Akon Corp., in conjunction with GIVE1 PROJECT and Solektra International, member of ADS Group (Africa Development Solutions Group), has assembled a dynamic group of strategic partners in order to create replicable, scalable and cost-effective energy solutions.
"By invitation" meetings were arranged with a select group of heads of state in the following African countries: Senegal, Mali, Guinea Conakry, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo and the Ivory Coast and on February 10, 2014, Akon and his delegation, which included Samba Bathily, Solektra International, Thione Niang, Give 1 Project, Wang Lin, CJI, Khadidiatou Thiam, Akon Corp. and Dr. Julius W. Garvey, Akon Corp. began an ambitious tour of nine (9) African nations to engage in dialogue about the project. The purpose of this tour was to engage leaders and key stakeholders in actionable dialogue to immediately begin addressing Africa’s energy issue. “We are extremely pleased by the overwhelmingly positive response of government leaders to embrace a public-private partnership that aims to address access to power in sub-Saharan Africa. This initiative is given further validity and momentum based on the support of these nations and their executives and advisors,” said Akon.
“Akon Lighting Africa” will support the installation of solar equipment in households to improve energy sufficiency. Of the many benefits, "Akon Lighting Africa" looks to proudly enable millions of children to have access to electricity in order to improve the quality of their education through extended study hours. Founder and President of GIVE1 PROJECT, Thione Niang, said, “This initiative gives a unique opportunity to bring partners across the spectrum to address the most important needs to Africa's development. All of us in the African diaspora can play a role in advancing the continent. Without electricity our children cannot study and our hospitals cannot function. The time is now and it's up to us to make a lasting impact for a new Africa.”
Samba Bathily, CEO of Solektra International/ADS Global Corporation, stated, “Solektra International, member of ADS Group, has been maintaining its mission for 20 years to provide effective solutions for the development that responds to Africa's needs. Solektra will continue to bring our years of experience to deliver power to millions of off-grid Africans, with the “Akon Lighting Africa” initiative.” The leading insurance and banking group in Western and Central Africa, NSIA Insurance and Banking or Nigeria Sovereign Investment Agency, will provide financial support and insurance for “Akon Lighting Africa.”
To date, Akon and his delegation have met with President Macky Sall of Senegal, Prime Minister Aminata Tourè of Senegal, President Alpha Condè of Republic de Guinea, President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso, President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone and President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon.
To learn more about the "Akon Lighting Africa" initiative visit www.akonlightingafrica.com.