Akon is planning to build a “futuristic” city in Senegal, which he says will resemble something of a “real-life Wakanda” — the fictional country depicted in the Marvel film Black Panther.
The R&B singer, whose full name is Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam, laid the first stone for the new US $6 billion project, which he calls Akon City this week. He says construction for the destination, located some 100kms from Senegal’s capital city of Dakar, would begin in 2021.
“We are looking at Akon city to become the beginning of Africa’s future,” Akon said at the ceremony. “Our idea is to build a futuristic city that incorporates all the latest technologies, cryptocurrencies, and also the future of how African society should become in the future.”
Akon was reportedly donated around 810 hectares of land from the President of Senegal to bring his vision to life. According to the singer, the city will be “the first 100% crypto-based city with AKoin at the centre of transactional life”.
AKoin refers to the cryptocurrency that will be used within the city. Though Akon admits he doesn’t know exactly how his plan will be actioned, he says he’ll hire people who know more about these technologies to work on the job. “I come with the concepts and let the geeks figure it out,” he said at the Cannes Lions Festival on Monday.
According to the Akon City website, the solar-powered city will contain a seaside resort, luxury homes, restaurants, a casino, a shopping mall, a spa, film and recording studios, and a multi-function stadium.
Also planned is a university and education centre, plus a health and safety district to include a hospital, office building, and emergency services to ensure the city can operate independently from the capital.
All open spaces will be planted with native trees and flowers. The intention is to make strolling through the city feel like a “walk in a creative man-made forest that render the combination between nature plated with culture transferred into a futuristic creation”.
For Akon and tourism officials, the project brings hope for jobs for Senegalese people and is thought an effective way to boost the county’s economy after the effects of the pandemic.
Find out more about the plans for Akon City on the official site.