For years, Konvict Muzick head honcho Akon has been ahead of the game when it comes to making hits, but much like his work as a producer, his philanthropic work has been largely slept on.
For his latest venture "Akon Lighting Africa" Akon looks to help Africa's youth create a sustainable infrastructure that will literally bring light to the continent one village at a time.
""Akon Lighting Africa" is more of a youth empowerment movement for the continent of Africa, a call to young generation entrepreneurs to come together and start building an infrastructure for Africa," Akon told BET.com. "We feel in order to build an infrastructure from the beginning, we have to start with the basic necessities that can allow the infrastructure to start which is electricity, which is one of the biggest problems that Africa has today mainly because of financial issues with the government," he added.
The "Ghetto" singer detailed his plan to help provide solar energy to villages that need it.
"We found a partner out in China called CJI, which is one of the leading solar energy providers, and we partnered with them so we could work out a pre-financing situation. We started with Nine countries in nine days. Our goal is to light all of Africa. So ultimately what we did a prepayment plan where CJI would launch the basis so the country wouldn't have to worry about paying all that money up front and every year they would pay off installments until they pay off the full payments," noted Akon. He added, "The first round will be 100 villages for 100 families which we finance ourselves just to let the government know that this is real,"
Akon noted that one of the main challenges is gaining the trust of the people that are used to dealing with unsavory business people.
"This isn't someone that's going to come in and claim to give opportunities, then get the contract and for themselves. Unfortunately that's what's been happening throughout the years in Africa," Akon pointed out. "Companies will come from other countries get the contracts and then lease them off to another company and nothing happens. It's a lot of nothing. They've been very skeptical about who they let in, so the whole concept was to grab all the younger generation entrepreneurs in Africa that actually are African."
For more information visit www.akonlightingafrica.com