Akon has been keeping a low profile in the music business lately. But that's because he's been focused on getting his solar energy initiative, Akon Lighting Africa, off the ground. After bringing power to 14 countries, the "One in the Chamber" singer is starting a training academy to teach people how to use and maintain solar power within their communities.

Speaking at the United Nations’ second Sustainable Energy for All Forum, Akon revealed that he will help create a job training school in Bamako, Mali. In partnership with Solektra, the goal is to teach young Africans to use and manage solar power as well as give them the knowledge and training to take on these skills -- bringing more jobs to the rural communities.

“I kind of seen what it felt like to live in poverty and understand what it is to be in a position without light and go days without eating,” said Akon, who is from Senegal. “I felt it. I understood it. And it made me cherish life even more. It put me in a position to be a lot more humble as a celebrity.”

Kudos to the singer for thinking globally and expanding his reach to help othres. On the music front, Akon is working on the follow-up to his 2008 album, Freedom. He's reportedly been crafting songs for the new LP, Stadium, since 2010, which is set to release at some point this year.

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