Many who know Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Bongo Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam (aka Akon) for his grammy-nominated and platinum-selling work may not be aware that the 43 year-old artist has a grand vision for bringing electricity to Africa.

Through the Akon Lighting Africa initiative, which has done much work in this field, the artist will launch a solar academy where African engineers and entrepreneurs can learn the skills needed to develop social power.

According to Reuters, the academy will teach people how to build and maintain solar-powered electricity systems and micro-grids.

“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.

The institution is scheduled to open in the Malian capital of Bamako “this summer”.

Meanwhile, in the States, Akon’s received hearty pats-on-the-back for his projects from his contemporaries like Snoop Dogg – even if at the expense of other well-known personalities.

Akon Snoop