In far too many parts of Africa, night-time economic activities are practically non-existent. Women cannot make productive use of their time to carry out the most basic household tasks. Children who help the women cannot study at night without proper light and complete their homework by candle light, an additional expense for parents. Moreover, without access to electricity, over 3.5 million Africans die every year from harmful pollutants or fires in the home produced by costly and toxic solid fuels.
“Electricity is more than light. This is a true change in our daily life”, A mother, Yelimané, village, MaliTo meet these challenges, Akon Lighting Africa seeks to provide a concrete response at grass roots level to Africa’s energy crisis and lay the foundations for future development. Launched in February 2014 by international music star, Akon, leader Thione Niang and entrepreneur Samba Bathily, this initiative aims to develop an innovative solar-powered solution that will provide African villages with access to a clean and affordable source of electricity.
“Thanks to solar electricity we can now forget about kerosene, that is harmful and so expensive”, Inhabitant, Thiambokh Village, Senegal
In less than one year, thanks to a private-public partnership model and a well-established network of partners (including SOLEKTRA INT, SUMEC and NARI), a wide range of quality solar solutions, including street lamps, domestic and individual kits, have been installed in 14 African countries.
As a result, a number of households, villages, community houses, schools and health centres located in rural areas have been connected to electricity for the first time ever. Local jobs, primarily for young people, have also been created in these communities, whether for installation of equipment’s or for maintenance.
“Now I can recharge my phone at home, I do not have to walk for hours or to pay for that”, Inhabitant, Village, NigerThe highly positive results observed since the start of the project show that a local presence and practical solutions are key to resolving energy issues in Africa. Akon Lighting Africa’s roadmap fully reflects its founding members’ vision for Africa: to deliver concrete results to populations.