Shell Nigeria in conjunction with Akon, a global music star, has unveiled Africa’s first human and solar-powered football pitch in Lagos, as part of its efforts to inspire entrepreneurs with bright energy ideas that can  open up access to energy in Africa and beyond.

The new pitch, at the Federal College of Education, Akoka, Lagos, is the latest initiative from Shell’s #makethefuture programme, which puts bright energy ideas into action to bring benefits to local communities around the world. The football pitch was refurbished by Shell using more than 90 underground tiles that capture kinetic energy created by the movement of the players. This is  the invention of a young British entrepreneur and founder of Pavegen, Laurence Kemball-Cook, who has been supported through Shell LiveWIRE.

The kinetic energy is then stored and combined with power generated by solar panels to operate the new floodlights. This bright energy idea allows the students to play at night and provides a safer and more secure space at the heart of the community.

Osagie Osunbor, Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria and Managing Director, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) Limited, said that the company had made a significant contribution to energy solutions for Nigeria, stressing that the company is committed to supporting the Nigerian economy and its people. “We need bright energy ideas. Some of these will come from Shell but naturally; others will come from outside our business. So it’s crucial that Shell supports energy entrepreneurs, and we hope that this pitch will inspire more entrepreneurs and young people to help us make a smarter energy future,” he added.

Akon maintained his continued commitment in teaching young Africans the importance of harnessing the power of Africa’s renewable energy, which he is spearheading through Akon Lighting Africa, a large scale effort to develop solar-powered solutions that will provide African communities with access to clean and affordable sources of electricity. Siji Olusanya, Provost of the Federal College of Education, Akoka, is elated that over 10,000 students, and teachers would benefit from this innovative solution to light the school’s football pitch.

Shell LiveWIRE is an international programme that has been a catalyst for young entrepreneurs to develop enterprising ideas into viable and sustainable businesses for more than 30 years.

Maureen Nzeogu
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