Akon

Job Description: 
Co-founder and President
Company: 
Solektra International
Akon is an American-Senegalese RnB singer and producer. Brought up in a family of musicians, he spent his early childhood in Senegal before leaving at the age of seven to live in the USA in Union City, New Jersey. A Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum selling artist, producer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Akon is one of the world most influential voices in music today. In addition to having two multi-platinum albums, 27 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 and over 150 guest appearances with artists such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Eminem and Gwen Stefani, Akon is the first artist to accomplish the feat of holding both the number one and two spots simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 charts twice.
 
Drawing upon his recognizable celebrity combined with pride of his heritage and passion for philanthropy, Akon formed in 2007 the Konfidence Foundation to improve the quality of life for people in Africa and the United States.
 
In 2014, Akon co-founded with two partners, Malian entrepreneur Samba bathily and Senegalese-US youth leader and consultant Thione Niang, Solektra International. Incorporated in New York and with offices in numerous African countries, Solektra International aims at providing clean, renewable and affordable solar solutions in rural and off-grid areas. The company has developed an innovative prefinancing model which has led to impactful results.  In just over a year, Solektra International was operational in 15 African countries with a wide offer of solar equipment including solar street lamps, micro-grids and domestic kits.
 
The son of two Senegalese natives, Akon was born Aliaune Badara Thiam, in St. Louis and raised in Senegal, West Africa until age 7. His father, Mor Thiam, a well-respected Senegalese percussionist and jazz musician, and mother, Kiné, a renowned African singer, dancer and humanitarian, helped to foster a general love of the arts in Akon as well as a deep appreciation of his heritage and homeland. Their influences were truly ingrained within Akon and fuelled his desire to create a better future for Africa, beginning with empowering its youth.