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Singer Akon calls for alternative energy solutions


05-12-2016 07:16 BJT

Africa is being energized, both literally and metaphorically, by the famed pop-singer Akon, a.k.a. the king of autotune, and his ‘#makethefuture’ campaign. He is looking for entrepreneurs with ground-breaking ideas to meet the continent’s energy needs in a sustainable way. 

singer Akon

singer Akon

Along with DJ Hardwerk, Akon released the single “Tell Me We’re OK,” which highlights the launch of Africa’s first human- and solar-powered football field in Lagos, Nigeria.

Ninety floor tiles beneath the field turn the movements of footballer Pavegen into kinetic energy. Akon, who was raised in the West African country of Senegal, is playing an ambassadorial role for alternative energy.

“The whole concept of the song is just to allow, or to hear that from someone, that it’s going to be ok. Believe me, we’re all - from political, to socially, to energy, to any kind of agriculture - you can go everywhere. In all aspects, in every sector, there are issues and there's problems that we're all facing as a people,” said Akon.

“There has never been those little moments that you actually can say, that you hold on to that actually motivate you to want to do something to change. So this song has steps that represent that.”

Although Akon’s original goal was to become rich and famous, through the years he has decided to use his star power for good. One of his projects is Akon Lighting Africa, which started its outreach in Senegal.

“I remember going back home to my village, you know, dealing with the same issues, you know, candle lights, kerosene lamps. And for the first time I was able to go in my old neighborhood and see street lamps there, that we put up, you know what I mean?” said Akon 

"So that was, that actually motivated me to say ‘Ok, I get it, now we got to get all of Africa like this,’ and whoever else needs it, we want to be there and be a part of that development.”

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