Realizing that access to electricity was one of the key elements to improve the quality of life of Africans, Akon decided to intervene by creating its own association: Akon Lighting Africa.
Thus, the rapper and his two co-founders, Thiong Niang, Senegalese political activist and Samba Bathily, Malian entrepreneur and CEO of the Solar Energy Society Solektra International, have determined that African rural communities needed renewable energy provided by fully qualified African professionals.
The objective was to initiate the African energy renaissance by making the continent the focus of a worldwide industry of solar energy.
And they were right.
According to the charity Akon Lighting Africa, a large number of solar installations of quality, including streetlights, individual kits and household kits have been implemented in 14 African countries through a private partnership model -public partnership and a well-crafted network (as SOLEKTRA INT, SUMEC and NARI).
Consequently, many homes, villages, community houses, schools and health centers in rural areas got electricity for the first time! New positions for the installation and maintenance of equipment have also been created.
“Now I can recharge my laptop with me, I no longer need to walk for hours or pay for it.” Villagers, Niger.
The positive results observed since the beginning of the project show that a local presence as well as practical solutions are essential to solve the energy challenges of the African continent.
The incredible changes achieved by one group are just unexpected and seem to question the actions of other groups present before the arrival ofAkon Lighting Africa.
For starters, most charitable organizations acting in Africa are African: they are primarily supported by Western religious organizations have become so bureaucratic that they achieve nothing.
Akon has even said:
I realized one thing about Africa is that only organizations involving African actors arrived at a satisfactory result. Many companies are implanted in Africa, are trying to implement their own strategies and fail miserably. We had the advantage of all three of African origin, which allowed us to move rapidly from country to country
In addition to not know what they do in Africa, many works of charity are more concerned with their cash than providing help. And, when providing aid is in the form of food collection, vaccinations, temporary medical assistance or proselytizing. Needless to say, these actions are far from sufficient.
To fund the program, Akon and his associates took over the debt and responsibility that weighed on the continent. The project was pre-paid through a line of credit of one billion dollars and financed by international partners such as China Jiangsu International Group and the African bank Ecobank.
While construction continues, investors are now able to see a return on investment honorable. Instead of managing a unidirectional flow of money, as do the bureaucratic agencies, organizing Akon has established a circular business model, opening the way for the development of renewable energyand their future success.