In case you missed it, last week Senegalese born music superstar Akon, continued his recent drive to help Africa harvest its vast renewable energy, with the unveiling of Africa’s first human and solar powered football pitch at the Federal College of Education, Lagos, Nigeria. (continues below... )
The soccer pitch is a part of energy giant Shell's #makethefuture initiative, which according to the company, puts bright energy ideas into action, to bring benefits to local communities around the world. The new soccer pitch uses more than 90 underground tiles, placed underneath the turf to capture kinetic energy created by the movement of the players. The generated energy is then stored and combined with power generated by solar panels to operate the new floodlights. This allows the students to play at night - and provides a safer, more secure space at the heart of the community.
According to Shell on its website, the new soccer pitch – among other benefits – is aimed at inspiring entrepreneurs, and bright energy ideas, that open up access to energy in Africa and beyond.
The power-generating tiles used on the soccer pitch are the invention of young British entrepreneur Laurence Kemball-Cook, who has been supported through Shell's social investment programme – LiveWIRE.
Launched in Nigeria in 2003, LiveWIRE has trained more than 6,000 youths in enterprise development and management, of whom more than 3,000 have been provided with business start-up assistance.
Akon made a surprize appearance at the official opening of the soccer pitch, continuing his commitment to teaching young Africans the importance of harnessing the power of Africa’s renewable energy. As part of the celebration, Akon and DJ artist Philip “Hardwork” Constable debuted their new song “Tell Me We’re OK” in an exclusive performance on the pitch before the song's official release in 2016. The new soccer pitch will feature in the upcoming music video.
It will be recalled that Akon is spearheading, through his Akon Lighting Africa, a large scale effort to harness solar power across Africa.
Enjoy this video of Akon, at the human-solar powered pitch, explaining its importance.