Liberia is set to host Senegalese-born, U.S.-singer Akon later this month as he promotes his project, the Akon Lighting Africa initiative. According to the Liberian Observer, a source close to the singer revealed that he’s expected in the country on October 19th. During his visit, the five-time Grammy nominee will donate solar power materials to about 10 schools in the country.
The Akon Lighting Africa initiative aims to provide a concrete response to Africa’s energy crisis, in addition to laying down a foundation for future developments. The project seeks to increase electricity generation and supply in Africa by exploiting and harnessing the continents untapped solar energy potential.
The initiative was launched in 2014 by the singer and his associates, Thione Niang and Samba Bathily. Akon and Niang spent part of their childhoods in Senegal, before moving to the United States. The singer says he remembers his childhood days in the Koalack region of Senegal without electricity supply. The pair then teamed up with Bathily, a businessman who owns a company that supplies solar-power equipment.
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The project now operates in 15 different African countries including Guinea, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Mali, and Niger, creating over 5,000 jobs in the process. Many of these opportunities have been filled by young people who’ve been trained to install and maintain solar equipment.
During his visit, Akon is expected to donate solar panels and street lamps to help light up local communities without power. The singer is also expected to meet with stakeholders from the Liberian business community to discuss a wide range of issues, including the importance for the country to transition to green energy.