The artist has also affectionately dubbed the project ‘Akon City.’
R&B singer Akon is officially pursuing his plan to build a futuristic Pan-African city in his native Senegal, having previously likened to the fictional city Wakanda from the movie “Black Panther”.
Akon announced on Monday that construction of a $6 billion project is set to begin next year to help the country’s tourism industry, which, like so many other countries, suffer from the COVID-19 epidemic.
How will it help?
Akon said the plan would provide the Senegalese with much-needed jobs and serve as a “back home” for black Americans and others facing racial injustice.
“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 think there’s no other way,” he said.
Akon is all set to move forward with his futuristic African city, Akon City, based on the fictional Wakanda from the ‘Black Panther’ movies. Fans of Black Panther are surely up for some treats.
“So if you’re coming from America or Europe or elsewhere and you think you want to visit Africa, we want Senegal to be your first stop.”
Akon, who was born in the U.S. to Senegalese parents, spent most of his childhood in the West African country, where only 44 percent of rural households had electricity, as recently as 2018.
Design Of The City
Akon City’s projects include a beach resort, a technology center and recording studios. In addition, hospitals, police stations, and a university will be built to make the city as self-sufficient as possible. Akon has also thought that the city would have its own cryptocurrency called “AKoin“.
He said the almost surreal, water-like designs of Akon City are inspired by the shapes of traditional sculptures that have long been made in African villages. However, the shimmering structures of Akon City are made of metal and glass, not of wood.
A hotel within the city plans to have decorated rooms for 54 African countries. However, Akon said the project was designed by a Dubai-based architect because he could not find the right one in Africa fast enough. It is not clear what percentage of building materials and construction teams are obtained locally.
According to the New York Post, construction will begin in 2021 on a 2,000-acre farm given to the musician by the Senegalese government. Senegalese officials have embraced him as a native son, introduced him by his name, Aliuane Thiam, and praised him for investing in Africa during such global economic uncertainty.
All about the funding
Tourism Minister Alioune Sir said the Akon’s launch comes at a time when private investment is scarce and badly needed. International flights have resumed in Senegal, but only for citizens and residents with few exceptions at this time.
“COVID-19 raises suspicions everywhere. This means that those who have doubts about the attractiveness of Senegal and Africa must convince themselves that there are men and women who believe in Africa,” he said.
Akon revealed that one-third of the $ 6 billion needed to fund the project has already been raised. However, he declined to publicly reveal his investors, citing un-disclosable deals. Once construction begins, the first phase can take up to three years to complete, he says.