Akon has been noticeably low-key on the music scene recently. It appears the lack of production has been for good reason. The R&B singer has been working on a way to empower his native home land, and has done so by recently investing in solar technology in Africa. Two years ago, the Grammy nominated singer started the company Akon Lighting Africa with the intent of bringing solar power to rural areas in The Mother Land. To date, the company has helped bring power to 14 countries on the continent.

Kon was recently a guest at the United Nations' second Sustainable Energy for All Forum and revealed he will taking his efforts a step further and creating a job-training solar academy in Bamako, Mali, along with its partner business, Solektra. The school's goal is to not only teach young Africans how to use and maintain solar power, but to bring jobs as well. "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, a Senegal native. "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."

The 42-year old singer hasn't put out an album since 2008's Freedom. He has been working on his forthcoming LP Stadium since 2010. The album is expected to drop later on this year.

Check out footage of Akon's United Nations speech, above.

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