Akon Joins World Leaders to Talk Energy Access at Powering Africa: Summit
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

Entertainer Akon is back again seeking to build impact in the world, starting with Africa. He and his partners Samba Bathily and Thione Niang have launched Akon Lighting Africa, an innovative initiative focusing on beyond-the-grid investment in Africa.

[Related: Akon Named ‘Tech Human Agent of Change’ by WIRED and Nokia]

Solektra International plans to introduce the initiative to delegates attending the Powering Africa: Summit conference in Washington D.C. next week that is being organized by EnergyNet and will draw global leaders to discuss investment in Africa’s power sector.

“It’s very exciting that Solektra will join Energy Ministers and Director Generals from Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, Mozambique, DRC, Namibia, and Madagascar and more to promote these kinds of creative solutions – after all, it is these leaders who will write and implement the vision of government and be responsible for project realisation,” said Simon Gosling, Managing Director of EnergyNet, in a news release.

He continued: “Akon Lighting Africa has placed access to basic energy, such as solar lanterns to increase education, at its heart – education builds inspiration and inspiration builds economies and increases consumer spending power, not to mention aiding political stability as well.”

Akon, who is Senegalese-American, has been lauded for his work with Niang and Bathily in helping to provide more than 600 million Africans with electricity. He has also been named a Tech Human Agent of Change by WIRED and Nokia for his Lighting Africa initiative.

Watch highlights from last year’s summit below:

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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.


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