The R&B singer Akon, who brought us classics like Smack That and Lonely, is one step closer to building a futuristic city in Senegal, known as a ‘real-life Wakanda.’
Construction on the project is expected to begin next year in Senegal, a nation where only 44 percent of rural homes had electricity in 2018.
Back in 2018, Akon revealed its plans for the futuristic city, describing it as a ‘real-life Wakanda’ from Marvel’s Black Panther, the most technologically advanced in that specific world.
According to ABC News, Akon has already raised a third of the $6 billion it needs to start constructing the city but has declined to disclose publicly who is investing in the ambitious project that could take more than three years to complete and is aptly called ‘Akon City.’
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— AKON (@Akon) August 29, 2020
On Monday, Akon revealed his plans with a statement saying that the city would be a refuge for Black Americans and everyone else facing racial discrimination and inequality.
The system back home treats them unfairly in so many different ways that you can never imagine. And they only go through it because they feel that there is no other way. So if you’re coming from America or Europe or elsewhere in the diaspora and you feel that you want to visit Africa, we want Senegal to be your first stop.
The 47-year-old was born to Senegalese parents in the United States but spent most of his childhood in the West African nation hence his decision to develop his Senegalese estate.
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Since then he has been welcomed as a native son of the country where he was lauded in such an unpredictable period for investing in the African economy.
Current plans are to construct Akon City and its buildings, inspired by traditional African sculptures, in Mbodienne, 62 miles away from Dakar capital.
The city is set to include features such as a seaside resort, a tech center, video recording, police station, hospital, a movie studio, and a hotel with rooms designed to represent each of the 54 nations of Africa.
Senegal’s tourism minister Alioune Sarr thanked Akon for investing in the nation during the pandemic. They quote him as saying:
COVID-19 has sown doubt everywhere. This means that those who had doubts about the attractiveness of Senegal, and Africa, in general, must convince themselves that there are men and women who believe in Africa.
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ABC adds that it also plans to launch its own cryptocurrency, called AKoin, and also plans to market the technology to other African countries.