In partnership with

MAMAs 2016: The winners of the annual MTV Africa Music Awards were announced during a glitzy ceremony

Meet Iain Thomas, the 36-year-old South African poet who is famous all over the world except in SA

Akon looks to bring electricity to homes in Africa

2014-03-06 13:49
Atlanta - Grammy-nominated singer Akon has a goal of bringing solar-powered electricity to 1 million homes in Africa by the end of the year, and the singer is using millions of his own dollars for the cause.

Akon started an initiative called "Akon Lighting Africa" this month. The singer, who was born in the US of Senegalese parents and was reared in both countries, said he was "pained" after seeing people in the continent without electricity.

"How could you build any infrastructure with no lights?" he said in a recent interview. "Without electricity, you can't even operate the machines to build roads or bridges. ...That's what created the initiative."

Akon's project aims to install solar equipment in households to improve energy sufficiency. He's partnered with Give1 Project, ADS Global Corporation SA and public-private solar energy companies. The Senegalese-American also met with government leaders about the project in Senegal, Gambia, the Ivory Coast and other countries.

"After certain hours, it's completely pitch-black," he said. "Even for myself, as a child growing up in Africa, it wasn't that bad, but I know how life could be so much easier if they had those necessities."

So, far, Akon said his initiative has financed 10 light posts and power for 100 homes in Mali and Guinea Conakry. The economic and trade company China Jiangsu International will pre-finance all of the light posts, the singer said.

"I saw what simple lights did to those people there," he said. "It was like a huge festival when that light switch was hit. Now, kids can study during the afterhours. It's a luxury. It touched me."

Akon has had more than a dozen Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, including Smack That, I Wanna Love You and Locked Up. He recently released a new single So Blue, and said he is working on new music. He also wants to hold a concert at the end of the year in Africa to celebrate the initiative.

Read more on:    akon  |  celebrities
NEXT ON CHANNEL24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Recent News

At the monthly Jazz Afrika sessions at The Orbit club in Braamfontein, Dyer and his band paid homage to local jazz composers who not only influenced him, but a number of other artists as well. Read More »

It was all glitz and glam as Africa's top music stars were honoured at the 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards in Johannesburg on Saturday night. See all the pics here! Read More »

inside channel 24

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.