Driving Africa’s growth with a new solar generation
Bamako, 16 December 2015 – Akon, Samba Bathily and Thione Niang, co-founders of Solektra International, the company that launched the Akon Lighting Africa program, have just concluded a historic day in Bamako with the official inauguration of the Solektra Solar Academy. Expected to open in January 2016, this training center will be the first institute in Africa entirely dedicated to solar technologies. Appointed as Director, Patrice Dangang announced an ambitious program to train annually 200 skilled workers, technicians and engineers from all over Africa.
The courses will include both theoretical and practical classes meeting best standards and using t he latest generation simulation equipment. With a duration of 2 weeks up to 3 months, the different modules will focus on issues specific to the continent, such as the development of decentralized rural electrification systems. Some courses on the general dynamics of the solar market will also be proposed.
Trainees will acquire genuine technical expertise in a fast-growing sector. As explained by Akon, “solar technologies are now cost-effective and can be deployed massively to support Africa’s economic development. Our continent will thus be in the position to drive global growth in the near future.” The Solektra Solar Academy has already concluded partnerships with world-class institutions, such as the German electrical technology and training solution specialist, Lucas Nuelle .
“We need a sufficiently large and qualified workforce to address the energy crisis that has impacted Africa for years,” said Samba Bathily in his speech. With this project, Solektra International continues to act as a responsible company, eager to have a positive impact on the environment. “We are creating a powerful ecosystem around solar technologies in order to create jobs and opportunities. This is our responsibility vis-à-vis the African youth “, added Thione Niang.
Solektra International will need new resources: the success of the Akon Lighting Africa initiative, now operating in 15 African countries, allows the three co-founders to consider an ambitious business plan for 2016. Opportunities have been identified in Latin America and Asia, while 10 new countries are targeted in Africa. A major partnership is also being discussed with the Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) of the Economic Community of West African States to install in each member country solar mini-grids, now regarded by industry experts as the most innovative solution to electrify rural areas.
About Solektra international
Incorporated in New York, United States, and with offices in a number of African countries, Solektra International is focusing on two business strategies to promote African development: the use of solar power to provide access to clean water and electricity. Founded by Samba Bathily, Akon and Thione Niang, Solektra International is one of a new generation of African businesses that are investing in driving growth and employment throughout Africa in association with numerous l eading international partners. Solektra International currently has a presence in 15 countries – Mali, Senegal, Niger, Benin, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Burkina-Faso, the Republic of Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo-Brazzaville, Nigeria, Madagascar, Namibia and Kenya. www.solektra-international.com
About the Solektra Solar Academy
Launched in December 2015 in Bamako, Mali, by Solektra International, the Solektra Solar Academy was created to develop a solar energy work force for Africa. The Solektra Solar Academy aims to build capabilities to support inclusive growth throughout the continent. The Solektra Solar Academy’s first courses should start in 2016; the goal is to train 200 skilled workers, technicians and engineers every year.
About Akon Lighting Africa
Akon Lighting Africa aims to provide tangible solutions to the African energy crisis and create a future for Africa. This initiative launched in February 2014 by international music star Akon, youth leader Thione Niang and entrepreneur Samba Bathily has one clear objective: to use innovative solar solutionstoprovidevillagesthroughoutAfricawithaccesstocleanelectricity. Thankstoitspublic- private partnership model and network of world class partners, in under a year, this initiative has driven a series of high quality solar developments including the installation of street lamps, d omestic and community kits in many countries throughout Africa.
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