In West Africa, the Akon Lighting Africa initiative is making headlines as it prepares to launch the Light to Learn initiative in Liberia this week.
Working in collaboration with Tikkun Olam and Bridge Partnership Schools for Liberia – the J.W. Pearson Elementary School in Monrovia and the Zuluyee Public School in Ganta, Nimba County – students and teachers will soon be the beneficiaries of solar-generated lighting technology, The New Dawn Liberia reported.
The company's co-founder, Akon, commented: “Facilitating the needs of millions of people in Africa has always been a dream of mine.
“Our main goal is to bring light to Africa through public-private partnerships and the ripple effect of this is job creation, safety, commerce and supporting African children in furthering their education.”
Akon Lighting Africa increases access to light
The Light to Learn initiative aims to drive investment into Africa’s power and education sectors whilst creating an environment that is sustainable.
A key objective of the project is to create a platform where communities can access clean and affordable power as well as learn through modern educational channels and applications – no matter how far removed the community is from the central grid.
“Before, our teachers didn’t feel confident teaching; because without electricity and few materials we were unable to prepare for lessons,” said Catherine Jrikan, Vice Principal for Instruction at Bridge Partnership School - J.W. Pearson.
In addition, the project will have a domino effect on the greater community, opening doors to new industries and small businesses whilst improving healthcare.
Adding to the benefits of the programme, Jrikan said: “This initiative means that my school has the power it needs to enable facilitate the use of modern technology, and has tablets for every teacher, with the materials needed for lessons and tools for managing class; and a digital library for the children.
"It has completely changed their education for the better.”