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From Hip-Hop Star to Social Responsibility: Akon Lights Africa
By: Emory Brown
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We’ve seen many artists in the world of hip-hop become activists for certain causes, from Puffy Daddy with “Rock The Vote” to Russell Simmons with his Hip Hop Action Summit and his pledge to promote peace. Now we have a new entrant into the social responsibility space.
 
Mr. Akon, who has thrilled the world, has decided to make the move from a pure capitalist to a “social capitalist.” Hip-hop sure has a way of changing the world.
 
After creating wealth for himself as a music artist, Akon decided to go outside of just doing the regular hip-hop-entrepreneur business model — insert clothing line, insert vodka, insert whatever else is normal. He is actually working to provide light and energy resources to 5 million Africans with his project, called Akon Lighting Africa.
 
To date he has created a proactive program that is employing people in the villages in which the new solar lighting systems are being created. The program has installed 30,000 streetlamps, and solar systems have been installed in homes across Africa. They are transforming how people are living. Just think — in 2015 we still have places in the world where people don’t have light, and Africa is one of the richest countries in the world as it relates to resources.
 
This effort that Akon is taking on is going to take time. But for mothers with children who are used to reading by lamplight and candles, these home solar systems are a new world of possibilities.
 
Akon and his team have been overachieving their goals and putting smiles on faces all across the continent, one light at time.


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About the Author
Emory Brown is an award-winning creative director/writer whose mission is to spread the gospel of what great marketers can do when they put their heads together and work together for the greater good and not the bottom line. Working with many esteemed clients, his portfolio of work ranges in genre from conservative to ultra-modern including American Family Insurance, United Airlines, Mazda 6 and RX-8, Illinois Lottery, Tyson, Miller Genuine Draft, Nike Air Force 1, and Mercedes Benz, to name a few.  
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