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 U.S. 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.
So far, Akon said his initiative has financed 10 light posts and power for 100 homes in Mali and Guinea Conakry.
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.
– Associated Press