The future of energy is buzzing in the heart of Lagos. Shell has joined forces with music superstar and solar entrepreneur Akon to launch a new football pitch in Akoka, Lagos.
The pitch, at the Federal College of Education, is made with more than 90 underground tiles that capture kinetic energy from the footsteps of players which, alongside solar panels, help power the floodlights overhead.
Shell’s ambition was to repeat the success of its Morro da Mineira football pitch in Rio de Janeiro, improving the lives and safety of those in the community through innovaton in energy.
A grant winner of the Shell LiveWIRE programme, entrepreneur Laurence Kemball-Cook of energy start-up Pavegen, developed the kinetic tiles used on the pitch. These tiles harness energy from players’ footsteps before converting it into electricity used to power the pitch floodlights. Laurence is one of many who have received Shell LiveWIRE grants – supporting entrepreneurs turn bright energy ideas into action.
Akon, alongside DJ Hardwerk, debuted their new song “Tell Me We’re OK” with an exclusive performance on the pitch as part of the opening celebration. His partnership with Shell extends his commitment to helping communities harness renewable sources of energy. "Projects like this innovative football pitch draw attention to the major opportunity that Nigeria, as well as the whole of Africa has, if we look to better harness new technologies and the continent’s abundant renewable energy resources,” he said.
Through his organisation, Akon Lighting Africa, the musician is spearheading efforts to develop solar-powered energy solutions that will provide communities with access to clean and affordable sources of electricity.