In an interview with CNN’s Dubai Tech, artist, producer and businessman Akon outlines why he continues to advocate the case for global renewable energy.

Speaking at Fairgreen International School in Dubai, where students were competing in the international junior solar sprint, Akon explains how he hopes to integrate sustainability into the curriculum, having worked on global environmental issues since 2014.

Akon also tells CNN what inspired his Million Solar Stars campaign – which is looking to engage one million students and scale up solar power to a hundred percent of schools around the world.

On why his Million Solar Stars initiative is based around student engagement:

“I think it’s very important to start at this age educating them to sustainable ideas and goals. I think every school around the world should have a sustainable curriculum because that’s where the world is going. That’s what’s going to be necessary for the world to actually operate.”

On what drove him to move into sustainability:

“It all started with me wanting to provide energy to my grandma. And not being able to do it the traditional way. As I’m leaving Africa one day I see these guys selling solar lamps and at that moment a light bulb literally hit, and I was like: ‘Man this is the way to actually light her up.’”

On whether he is optimistic for a sustainable future:

“More people are thinking forward than the ones that are thinking backwards. We just got to be in this together, that’s what it boils down to because at the end of the day when it all falls, we’re all falling down together.”