Senegalese-American Hip hop icon Akon has entered into a US$50-million partnership agreement with the Machel Fidus Association for the implementation of a rural electrification project in northern Mozambique as part of the “Akon Lighting Africa” initiative.
The launch of the Akon Lighting Africa initiative in the country happened in Mozambique’s capital Maputo, making Mozambique the first southern African country to partner with the hip-hop star.
Graca Machel met with the Akon Lighting Africa team, Akon, Thione Niang and Luc Tanoh to discuss Akon Lighting Africa opportunities in Mozambique with Foundation Machel Fidus.
The implementation strategy covers renewable energies established by the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy, MIREME, and Mozambique’s National Energy Fund FUNAE portfolio.
According to the singer, “Akon Lighting Africa” aims to respond to the energy challenges of African countries by implementing an innovative solution that should lay the foundations for the sustainable development of rural areas.
“We can move Africa… My idea for Mozambique is to implement changes in the area of renewable energies,” said Akon, real name Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam.
He said the initiative aims to develop an innovative solar-powered solution that will provide African villages with access to a clean and affordable source of electricity.
Akon Lighting Africa initiative seeks to provide a concrete response at grass root level to Africa’s energy crisis and lay the foundations for future development. Launched in February 2014 Akon, Thione Niang and Samba Bathily, the initiative aims to develop an innovative solar-powered solution that will provide African villages with access to a clean and affordable source of electricity.
The initiative partner Machel Fidus is a non-profit organisation led by young entrepreneurs Malenga Machel, Ìris de Brito, Víctor Zandamela and Mariano Paiva who are committed to the development and implementation of sustainable projects that improve the living conditions, economic and social inclusion of the most vulnerable in Mozambique.
According to the World Bank, “In Africa, power is inaccessible, unaffordable, and unreliable for most people. This traps people in poverty…The African continent is well endowed with energy resources but most remain untapped”
Renewable energy has been a priority on the continent with more and more countries inviting investors and promoting initiatives that want to facilitate it’s creation and use. Not only will renewable energy improve living conditions on the continent it will also decrease the level of carbon emissions produced annually.
“Africa is being hit hard by the consequences of global warming, yet it is responsible for only 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions,” United Nations climate change conference (COP21) reported.