The Republic of Mali is a country located in Western Africa with an economy that relies on fishing and agricultural production. However, conflicts that began in northern Mali at the beginning of 2012 have crippled that national economy, causing access to water and electricity scarce. Mali is not alone, though.


An organization called Akon Lighting Africa promises that their efforts are “bringing hope to millions and ultimately giving [all of] Africa a better future.”


A gentleman sitting in dark with only one very dim light source to aid him.

Akon Lighting Africa aims to make electricity and water more accessible sources to help boost the economy. (

Led by Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Bongo Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam, called Akon for short, the organization “seeks to provide a concrete response at grass roots level to Africa’s energy crisis and lay the foundations for future development.” Akon has used his money and influence to bring electricity into his homeland. He also strives to establish dependable and clean source of energy for communities throughout Africa.


Recently, Akon’s initiative now includes the opening of a “Solar Academy” to “train African engineers and entrepreneurs with the skills needed to develop solar-powered electricity systems and microgrids.”


The institution will continue Akon Lighting Africa’s trend to not only alleviate temporary problems, but also to establish more long-term solutions. Over 600 million Africans currently lack access to electricity, and Akon Lighting Africa seeks to fix that.


Do you think that Akon Lighting Africa represents true hope for Africa’s electricity issues? Share your ideas below in the comments section or on Twitter @ryanlawlessness.