Monrovia — Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam, better known as Akon, is an American singer, rapper, songwriter, businessman says the lack of energy in Africa has stalled development across the continent.
"It always has been difficult to see what our future has in front of us because of the lack of energy here in Africa," Akon said.
Akon continued: "Too many stories' headlines in the news and documentaries always speak about how children walk miles and miles to go to school.
"This is something we never see in the western world because school is something that is not taken for granted."
Arriving at the J.W. Pearson Elementary School on Carey Street in Monrovia, the musical icon was greeted by cheering crowd.
Akon turned on lights in communities around the J.W Pearson Elementary School as part of his lighting Africa project.
The program brought together school children from the Bridge partnership schools in Liberia, who were given the opportunity to showcase their talents.
Bridge's CEO, Shannon May, thanked Akon for the partnership between his initiative and the Bridge's partnership adding that, light was significant to education.
May added that the need for quality education for kids particularly in rural Liberia was essential for the forward march of Liberia.
She praised the government for the step taken to partner with Bridge in bettering the education sector of Liberia.
Several students of the Bridge Liberia Partnership schools showcased their talents in various performances like singing, dancing, raping, and also the reciting of poem.
Senegalese-born American hip-hop star paid a visit to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in furtherance of "Light To Learn" - an initiative that highlights the positive impacts of investment in Africa's sustainable power and education, and the importance of developing both sectors as they propel Liberia and the continent towards a better and brighter future.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who welcomed Akon also applauded him for getting extending his gesture to rural Liberia in order to give education a boost.
President Sirleaf used the occasion to inform Akon about the Mount Coffee Hydro Power Plant that was once destroyed during the civil conflict but would be commissioned for its first post war operation in December this year.
According to her, when completed, the hydro would not be able to serve the entire population.
Responding, Akon congratulated President Sirleaf for her excellent leadership role exhibited over the years. He said lot of times we try to move away what is consider normal in order to change the paradigm.
He said - "Though we try to be innovative in finding solutions, challenges are inevitable". He assured President Sirleaf of his support to education.
The American star said he was happy to be back in Liberia. He said the country had made so much progress over the last few years.
He further said he was in Liberia to contribute to Liberia's progress and shifting a new paradigm in lifting Liberia.
He commended President Sirleaf for the warm reception given him.
The "Light to Learn" initiative is aimed at bringing clean, affordable and endless energy that will in turn bring about beneficial changes such as empowering schools to use technology to support teachers in lesson preparation and classroom management; making use of digital libraries with access to hundreds of books at a child's fingertips possible, even in remote communities.