Senegalese-US music star Akon has wonderful plans for the African continent’s electricity and education sectors.
Akon’s company Akon Lighting Africa and its partners have unveiled their long-term objective to use solar activities to drive education by introducing connected tablet devices.
The announcement was made in Benin, the West African country, where Akon, Thione Niang and Samba Bathily inspected the new street lamps installed in the district of Pahou, near capital Cotonou.
They were accompanied by Benin Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou.
Benin was the last stop of the two-week roadshow in Africa to create awareness about the ICT project.
“The solar power we are providing can be used to connect all sorts of devices – telephones to communicate, fridges to keep food, and why not to power computers too,” Akon told the press.
“We presented the outline of a new project we hope to launch within the next few months to supply learning devices and to set up smart schools,” he explained.
“Akon Lighting Africa is an initiative that puts top priority on African development. Access to energy will drive rapid transformations in Africa. Electrification first, education next,” Niang said.
The Benin stopover was also an opportunity to review progress on the solar project to date in this country.
New York-based Solektra International, the main partner of Akon Lighting Africa, is just installing the last of the 1500 solar powered street lamps and 2200 solar kits agreed under the tender it won a few months ago and targeting 124 localities.
“We have already installed over 75% of the equipment and the authorities are most satisfied by the work done by our teams in the field.” explained Bathily, Akon’s partner and CEO of Solektra International, said.
“Benin is a strategic country. By winning this tender, we have been able to show that our approach is both solid and involves high quality solutions. We would like to thank the authorities for the confidence they have shown in us.”
Solektra International currently has a presence in 14 countries – Mali, Senegal, Niger, Benin, Sierra Leone, Burkina-Faso, the Republic of Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo-Brazzaville, Nigeria, Madagascar, Namibia and Kenya.
Photo: Akon, credit: David Monfort//Dagency