Akon, one of the world’s most celebrated artists is embarking on a massive lighting project “Akon Lighting Africa” in Sierra Leone that will focus on providing energy for people in rural areas that does not have access to electricity.
During a special interview with SLBC’s Asmieu Bah at the Bintumani Hotel in Freetowm on February 17, 2014, the Minister of Information and Communications Alhaji Alpha Kanu reiterated government’s commitment in providing energy and health facilities for its people noting that energy and health are key pillars in the President’s Agenda for Prosperity.
The Minister maintained that government will continue to commit itself to providing the required support and the enabling environment to ensuring that people get the best out of such projects and considers it a boost in the government’s stride towards achieving the aforementioned Agenda.
He said the project,” Akon Lighting Africa,” will help people in remote areas to access energy at affordable cost and will also complement government’s effort in providing energy for people in communities that does not have access to electricity.
Responding to the interview, Akon, the Senegalese American musical star stated that the project is meant to provide energy for people in rural communities who do not have access to electricity. He further reiterated the fact that the Akon Lighting Africa Project will provide solar light system that will be reasonable enough for people in remote communities to afford.
He said the system will be operated on prepaid basis where people shall credit their accounts and then recharge the said account once the charge runs out. He further stressed on the benefit of this project by stating that the periodic financial implication involved in running remote house wholes on this technology will be lesser than what is normally spent on kerosene for a paraffin lamp or a candle to illuminate a house for a week and this new development will also reduce the risk involve in lighting houses using candles and paraffin lamps. Another major benefit highlighted was the creation of job opportunities for deserving youth that shall involve the implementation of the project by providing them the requisite skills to support and maintain the infrastructure.
He concluded that the Project “Akon Lighting Africa” has proven to be successful in other African countries like Senegal and Guinea where these solar lamps have been utilized.
One good thing about the project is that in spite of the benefit people, especially in rural areas, will have to enjoy via electricity at a very reasonable price, the project will come along with employment opportunities that will help a good number of youth to be employed; and that in Sierra Leone, the President has already provided them with an office space at the Ministry of Youth and has also connected them with the Ministry to start the process of training youth with a focus on the project.
By Siraju Bah, February, 17th 2014
Alhaji Alpha Kanu talking to Akon Akon