Akon's solar panel in Africa initiative is definitely generating some buzz, but can the singer really make this lofty project come together? Though many people may not have heard about this project before now, this is something the singer has actually been working on for a while now and he's not about to slow down.
As the Sun Times shares, Akon's solar panel in Africa project comes via the charitable organization of his called Akon Lighting Africa. Their goal is to bring solar panels to millions of home in Africa to help make household chores and work easier for those struggling to get by. The singer's site notes that about 3.5 million people in Africa die each year from house fires or harmful pollutants, and he is looking to give families tools to make things a bit easier.
The singer, who was born in Senegal, ultimately aims to bring electricity to 600 million people in Africa. The focus for accomplishing this, notes Reuters, comes via the new Solar Academy located in Bamako, Mali. Experts from Europe will work with entrepreneurs and engineers in Africa to develop solar power and teach people across the continent how to install, maintain, and use solar energy.
As the Akon Lighting Africa site notes, the lack of access to electricity affects those across the continent in many ways. Women are limited in getting household tasks finished, children are unable to study at night easily, and work opportunities are greatly impacted by the limited and sporadic access to electricity in many areas.
Akon's solar panel in Africa initiative was launched in February, 2014, via a partnership with entrepreneur Samba Bathily. The group's work has already made an impact in more than a dozen countries including Senegal, Mali, Niger, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, the Republic of the Congo, and Kenya. Reports detail that the efforts have helped to bring electricity to schools, health centers, and homes for the first time ever in some areas.
The Akon Lighting Africa project generated headlines recently via snarky posts on social media by both Snoop Dogg and Chris Brown in reference to the Caitlyn Jenner headlines. While the posts themselves rubbed many the wrong way, people are definitely taking notice of Akon's efforts and are curious to learn more.
Will Akon's solar panel in Africa initiative accomplish the singer's goal of bringing electricity to 600 million homes? They certainly are well on their way and may well get some added support now given all of the buzz.
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