Tag: Akon

Akon Lighting Africa To Train Future Tech Professionals at New “Solar Academy” in Mali to Help Provide Electricity to 600 Million in Africa

Akon at the second United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Forum (SE4A) on May 21, 2015.  [Photo via akonlightingafrica.com)

As the second United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Forum (SE4A) paid tribute in its closing session to the progress generated by the Akon Lighting Africa initiative launched in February 2014, its founders Akon, Thione Niang and Samba Bathily were already looking to the future and next steps. They have just announced the creation of a “Solar Academy” to develop skills and expertise in this field in Africa. This professional training center of excellence is a first on the continent and targets future African entrepreneurs, engineers and technicians. It will open its doors this summer in Bamako, Mali and welcome any Africans wanting to help develop the use of solar power.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 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.

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 at the SE4All. “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% of the population aged under 35, Africa is the continent with the youngest population today.  One of the biggest challenges it faces is training and creating sustainable employment.  “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.  Indeed, Akon Lighting Africa adopted a sustainable business model from the outset – providing training and creating jobs enabling local populations to embrace technical solutions and become self-sufficient.  The Solar Academy will help to extend this business model and promote inclusive growth throughout Africa.

article via akonlightingafrica.com

Singer Akon Aims to Bring Electricity to 1 Million Homes in Africa Through “Akon Lighting Africa” Initiative

Singer Akon. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Singer Akon has launched an ambitious endeavor that aims to improve the lives of over one million people in Africa.  His new initiative, “Akon Lighting Africa”, hopes to bring electricity to one million households by the end of 2014 to help promote energy sustainability and sufficiency throughout the continent.  “The lack of electricity is currently a major problem in Africa,” reads the website for the campaign. “A significant number of households in rural areas and even urban cities do not have access to electricity. This is a real obstacle to Africa’s Sustainable Development.”

Akon, who is Senegalese-American, has partnered with local charities and corporations to aid in the efforts of the campaign by addressing Africa’s energy issue and installing solar equipment in households.  The “Right Now” singer will travel and meet with leaders in nine countries in nine days to discuss the project including Senegal, Mali, Guinea Conakry, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo and the Ivory Coast.

Learn more about Akon Lighting Africa here.

article by Lilly Workneh via thegrio.com

Snoop Lion 1st Guest Editor of Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy; Offers Listen of New “Reincarnated” CD

In the 20 years since Snoop Dogg released his genre-defining debut “Doggystyle,” the rapper’s name has become a sort of hip-hop shorthand, and he’s become a larger than life figure in popular culture over a string of albums and movie roles (“Starsky & Hutch,” “Training Day”). So it came as something of a surprise when the MC rechristened himself “Snoop Lion” last year after studying the Rastafari religion in Jamaica, and announced he was recording a reggae album, “Reincarnated,” which comes out Tuesday.

Snoop today takes over Speakeasy as the first-ever special guest editor, and in that role wrote an essay that explains his reggae transformation, assigned a story about the part youth sports programs play in communities, and will answer questions from readers. Check back in throughout the day to read Snoop’s contributions.

It only makes sense to pair his guest-editing stint with “Reincarnated,” which Speakeasy is streaming in its entirety. To listen, click here. The album features contributions from Drake, Akon and Miley Cyrus, and production from Diplo and Major Lazer. If you have questions for Snoop, send them on Twitter with the hashtag #AskSnoop.

article by Eric R. Danton via blogs.wsj.com