SHARE THE GRAYT: Akon’s Lighting Africa Initiative


Recently, the issue of climate change and global warming impeded my radar for multiple reasons, one being the challenges that faces the pollution in Shanghai while I’m living in China. For some time now, Akon’s Lighting Africa initiative impeded my radar, as well.

Akon’s initiative fueled with the passion of Thione Niang (co-founder of Akon’s Lighting Africa) and Samba Bathily strives to provide electricity–at a grass roots level–to a portion of the 600 million Africans without electricity. Inefficient forms of electricity lead to unnecessary deaths yearly to the men, women, and children of African communities. What’s GRAYT about Akon’s initiative is that it utilizes sustainable methods to bring efficient electricity to communities that need it most.

Although a portion of his life has been under the spotlight, Akon’s “life without light” growing up inspired his investment in electrifying African villages with electricity, jobs, and education. Akon and his partners expressed that, “the top priority was to invest in energy, particularly in rural and semi-urban areas, because this was the essential foundation for everything else–education, health, and economic development.

The Lighting Initiative scopes its impact by implementing these activities:

+Electrification: 100,000 street-lamps, 1,000 solar micro-generators and 200,000 household electric systems: all these different solutions were proposed and installed in targeted  localities, thus creating direct and indirect jobs mainly for local youth.

+Resources: With an average investment of $75 000 per village, Akon Lighting Africa is playing an increasingly important role in the electrification of Africa.

+Employment: A network of young people is employed to learn how to install and maintain solar solutions, and to acquire technical expertise.

(Source: “Activities & Priorities”, Akon’s Lighting Africa)

Although this is not an overnight achievement, Akon showcases the magnitude of change we may evoke with our influence, whether big or small. Never concern yourself with attracting followers, concerning yourself with impacting your followers and their follow. Create sustainable positivity, influence that permeates and elevates.

Visit the official Lighting Africa Initiative website to learn more about Akon’s Lighting Africa Initiative:

#SHARETHEGRAYT is a collective initiative that strives to share what’s [GRAYT] and inspirational in viewer’s lives, in our communities, and in the world. What’s GRAYT in your life? Let us know,



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SHARE THE GRAYT: Akon’s Lighting Africa Initiative

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