Akon has been making HUGE strides in energy over on The Mother Continent Africa, but this latest move puts him in a whole new stratosphere of innovation.

From Reuters:

Senegalese-American singer Akon, whose Akon Lighting Africa initiative aims to bring electricity to some of the 600 million Africans who lack it, announced on Thursday the launch of a new “Solar Academy” for the continent.

The institution, scheduled to open this summer in Bamako, Mali’s capital, will try to give African engineers and entrepreneurs the skills needed to develop solar power. European experts will help supply training equipment and programs.

The academy will aim to teach people how to install and maintain solar-powered electricity systems as well as micro grids, “which are really taking off in rural Africa”, Akon Lighting Africa said.

Africa has 320 days of sunshine a year, the organization said in a statement, so harnessing solar energy is an ideal way to enable those without electricity to get it.

“We have the sun and innovative technologies to bring electricity to homes and communities. We now need to consolidate African expertise,” said Samba Baithily, who founded Akon Lighting Africa with Akon and Thione Niang.

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Seventy percent of Africans are under 35, and creating sustainable jobs is vital, the group said, so investing in solar power for the future can help in more ways than one.

“We expect the Africans who graduate from this center to devise new, innovative, technical solutions,” said Niang. “With this Academy, we can capitalize on Akon Lighting Africa and go further.”

The group announced the launch of the academy at the second United NationsSustainable Energy for All Forum in New York

(Reporting By Joseph D’Urso; Editing by Tim Pearce)

 Ovation

News like this is refreshing to me. In a climate when you have has-been moguls telling you to be a Boss, and Puppet moguls telling us we don’t support black when they own less than 1% of the company it’s good to see celebrities of color not only investing in something tangible and significant, but encouraging, supporting, and creating an environment where others like him can do the same.

Qmunity, don’t you wish our American black millionaires would influence us toward solar energy instead of finding new ways to sell us uninspired music?

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