Akon at #OYW2018: "It’s going to take the children of Africa to build the future of Africa”

We were thrilled to welcome multi-platinum selling artist, producer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Akon to One Young World for the first time.

[IMAGE OF AKON ON STAGE: “I DON’T WANT TO BE KNOWN FOR SINGING AND DANCING, I WANT TO LEAVE A LEGACY”]

After a massively successful career in music, Akon decided he wanted his legacy to be about more than himself. Speaking to delegates today, he said “with success comes responsibility”. He visited his grandparents’ home in Senegal over 20 years and saw there had been no progress in electrifying the village or bringing a permanent source of light. He founded Akon Lighting Africa - a solar power initiative to bring electricity to millions of households across the continent.

[QUOTE IMAGE: IT’S GOING TO TAKE THE CHILDREN OF AFRICA …]

He had a big message for all of our delegates, especially those representing the fifty four states in Africa: “It’s going to take the children of Africa to build the future of Africa” he said. He told delegates that in Africa more than any other continent, youth leadership would be absolutely integral to making progress, establishing stability across the region and securing prosperity.

75% of the African population is made of of youths. When he became aware of that, Akon said that he would work to empower young people in Africa to have the tools to make a future for themselves and show the world all that the region has to offer.

[QUOTE: ENERGY IS THE KEY PIECE TO BUILDING THE AFRICAN INFRASTRUCTURE]

He told our delegates that young entrepreneurs and young politicians are the key to the success of Africa’s future. It is their duty to hold governments to account, to run for office and to push for better, for the entire region. Optimism, inspiration and positivity: a huge message for our delegates in the Hague today.

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