A lack of electricity continues to be a major problem in parts of Africa. According to the Washington Post, only 14 percent of people get any electricity at all in Tanzania, and across sub-Saharan Africa, nearly 590 million people lack access to power. This problem has had severe effects. Indoor air pollution from wood stoves kills 3.5 million people per year, more than AIDS and malaria combined. To remedy this issue, Senegalese-American hip hop artist Akon, in partnership with Give1Project and ADS Global Corporation SA, have initiated the “Akon Lighting Africa” tour, which aims to bring electricity to one million households in Africa by the end of 2014.
In a month, Akon plans to start this project with two to three villages that will become equipped with solar panels that allow people to have light and electricity. The project will consist of the installation of solar equipment in households and promote their energy sufficiency, which also will allow millions of children to have access to electricity and improve their education through extended study hours. To promote this new initiative, the global superstar is wrapping up a nine-African-country tour (Senegal, Mali, Guinea Conakry, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo Brazzaville and Ivory Coast) in nine days to meet with global leaders about the project.
Within the framework of a public-private partnership, an alliance was signed between the private entities: Akon Corp, SOLEKTRA International, Azuri Technologies, NARI (Member of China Grid), CJI and BYD, the Non-Governmental Organization Give1Project, and the governments of different African nations to support the initiative.