American singer Akon is aiming to help some of the 600 million Africans who have no electricity with his Akon Lighting Africa initiative. He has announced that he was launching a new “Solar Academy” for the continent.
The Solar Academy is scheduled to open this summer in Bamako, Mali’s capital. The institution will give African engineers and entrepreneurs the skills that are needed to develop solar power. European experts will be helping and supplying the training equipment and programs.
Akon adds solar job training to business lighting up Africa:
This project is being introduced under the patronage of Solektra International, a partner of Akon Lighting Africa, in collaboration some European experts who will supply training equipment and programs. It aims to reinforce expertise in every aspect of installing and maintaining solar-powered electric systems and micro-grids in particular, which are really taking off in rural Africa. With its 320 days of sunshine a year, the continent is perfectly suited to the development of solar power, particularly since 622 million Africans still do not have access to electricity, said its webpage.
“We have the sun and innovative technologies to bring electricity to homes and communities. We now need to consolidate African expertise, and that is our objective” explained Samba Bathily, who founded Akon Lighting Africa with Akon and Thione Niang.
Singer Akon launches academy to help Africans harness the sunshine:
“We are doing more than just investing in clean energy. We are investing in human capital. We can achieve great milestones and accelerate the African transformation process on condition that we start training a new generation of highly qualified African engineers, technicians, and entrepreneurs now,” he added.
With 70 percent of the population aged under 35, Africa is the continent with the youngest population today. One of the biggest challenges it faces is training people and creating sustainable employment.
Akon talks about the Akon Lighting Africa Initiative to bring electricity to 1 million homes in Africa:
“We expect the Africans who graduate from this center to devise new, innovative, technical solutions. With this Academy, we can capitalize on Akon Lighting Africa and go further,” Thione Niang said.
Let’s hope Solar Academy works out well, and can help the Africans get the power turned on.