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Akon Discusses Electricity in Africa at the Chamber

Left to right: Eisner, Akon, Niang, Bathily. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Chamber of Commerce)

Musician Akon visited the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday to promote renewable energy in Africa.

Famous for his songs, “I Wanna Love You” and “Locked Up,” Akon co-founded the Akon Lighting Africa initiative, which works to provide electricity to countries in Africa from a grassroots level. At the chamber, the musician discussed his initiative and explained how it has impacted communities in 15 countries and is now expanding to Latin America and India. He also led a panel discussion on bringing clean energy to Africa along with Scott Eisner, the chamber’s president of the U.S.-Africa Business Center. Akon was born in St. Louis, Missouri, but considers Senegal to be his home. In February 2014, he founded Akon Lighting Africa with “leader” Thione Niang and “entrepreneur” Samba Bathily, according to the group’s website. Akon Lighting Africa has since worked in villages in Mali, Senegal and Niger, among others.