Akon Lighting Africa goes beyond short-term philanthropy. Rather, the driving force behind it is long-term goals of sustainability. The project is meant to be a stepping stone for the development of future infrastructure while also providing jobs for locals. Beyond even that though, Akon Lighting Africa will not only capitalize on resources readily available in the environment (Africa has 320 sunny days per year, making it an ideal place for solar power initiatives), it aims to tap into human capital as well. The project recognizes that education is the best way to lead to self-sufficiency and therefore long-term success of the project. Thus, the next phase of Akon Lighting Africa is the creation of a Solar Academy to “develop skills and expertise in this field in Africa.”
The academy “targets future African entrepreneurs, engineers and technicians” and will open this summer in Mali for “any Africans wanting to help develop the use of solar power.” At the forum in New York Samba Bathily explained, “We have the sun and innovative technologies to bring electricity to homes and communities. We now need to consolidate African expertise and that is our objective… We can achieve great milestones and accelerate the African transformation process on condition that we start training a new generation of highly qualified African engineers, technicians and entrepreneurs now.”
Education is the key to the future, not only in Africa, a continent where 70% of the population is younger than 35. Hopefully, you also recognize the long-lasting potential and power of education to find personal success but also to improve society to the benefit of all.
Huffington Post: Akon Launches Academy To Help Provide Electricity To 600 Million People In Africa
Next steps for Akon Lighting Africa: Launch of the first Solar Academy in Africa
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