'Akon Lighting Africa' has launched a solar academy to help people in Bamako, Mali harness the power of the sun.
When Akon isn’t producing music or singing his heart out, the rap artist is working to supply the African people with sustainable energy options. Reports HuffPost, the “Smack That” rapper launched an initiative earlier this year, aptly titled ‘Akon Lighting Africa’, which aims to supply electricity to 600 million Africans.
The initiative is launching a solar academy to help people in Bamako, Mali harness the power of the sun, which they have access to 320 days of the year. Akon Lighting Africa, which officially began this summer, shares on its website that the intent is to train Africans in ‘every aspect of installing and maintaining solar-powered electric systems and micro-grids.’
The professional training center of excellence is a first on the continent and targets future African entrepreneurs, engineers, and technicians. Any African wanting to help develop the use of solar power is welcomed to take part.
Said co-founder Samba Bathily:
“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.”
The artist hopes that more jobs will be created by the scheme, especially since 70% of the continent’s population is under the age of 35. With 622 million Africans still living without electricity, there’s plenty opportunity to light up the continent in an eco-friendly way.
“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,” Bathily added.
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