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When he’s not singing or producing music, Akon is busy providing sustainable living options to people in African countries. The Senegalese-American singer’s initiative, appropriately called Akon Lighting Africa, aims to supply electricity to 600 million people in Africa who lack it with the launch of the Solar Academy.
Located in Bamako, Mali, the Solar Academy will help African engineers and entrepreneurs develop skills that will enable them to produce solar power. Experts will be on hand to help the participants with training and equipment, according to a Reuters report.
According to Akon Lighting Africa, the goal of the academy is to teach people how to maintain solar-powered electricity systems and microgrids. Both systems have been growing quickly in rural parts of Africa. In a continent that has 320 days of sun a year, roping in its natural resources will be valuable to the solar-energy efforts.
“We have the sun and innovative technologies to bring electricity to homes and communities. We now need to consolidate African expertise,” said Samba Baithily, who founded Akon Lighting Africa with Akon and Thione Niang.
The organization also hopes to create jobs with its initiative.
“We expect the Africans who graduate from this center to devise new, innovative, technical solutions,” said Niang. “With this academy, we can capitalize on Akon Lighting Africa and go further.”