The Akon Lighting Africa initiative will give $200 000 dollars to support the newly created Western African Energy Leaders Group. The financial commitment was made by the three co-founders of Akon Lighting Africa, music star Akon, speaker and international youth leader Thione Niang and entrepreneur Samba Bathily, at the end of the opening meeting of this group which took place in Abidjan .
Akon Lighting Africa’s financial allocation would help the Western African Energy Leaders Group to take its first steps and set up its secretariat.
According to Akon, “the creation of this group brings evidence of a very strong commitment. The countries of the western African region are ready to tackle the electrification issue and want to work together to identify and propose fast solutions”.
He welcomed such approach and added: “It is the first time ever that countries adopt a 360° vision, looking at all issues all together – regulation, financing, power capacity sharing, regional integration, energy mix. As Africans we are very happy to see this project come to life,” he said.
The ambition of the Western African Energy Leaders Group is to develop a win-win partnership. While governments will have to transform their commitments into relevant public policies, private operators will have the opportunity to support or enhance energy projects.
“Without energy there is no development: this is a pressing issue that they all want to address. As founders of Akon Lighting Africa, we are proud to represent a committed young generation and work hand in hand with the older generation,” said Thione Niang.