Famed R&B singer and music mogul Akon has unveiled his $6 billion futuristic city in Senegal that he hopes will be Africa’s first futuristic, self-powered and environmentally friendly Pan-African smart city to run on a crypto currency called Akoin.
The Senegalese-American musician and green entrepreneur has updated Akon City’s progress through a press briefing stating that construction will begin in early 2021 and will run exclusively on its crypto currency to address hurdles such as high inflation and government corruption.
Spread over 2,000 acres of land donated by Senegalese President Macky Sall, the solar-powered Akon City has the support of the Senegalese government and is financed by unnamed investors who have already secured some $4 billion.
On 31 August, Akon laid the first stone for the city in Mbodiene Park, some 100 kilometres from Dakar, the country’s capital, at a ceremony attended by various Senegalese government officials, including the Minister of Tourism Alioune Sarr.
What will be inside Akon City?
According to Akon, Black Panther’s fictional town of Wakanda was part of the inspiration to build this smart city and will run on solar power to power its luxury homes, health facilities, parks, schools, business offices, state-of-the-art universities, shopping malls, skyscrapers and even the village of African cultures.
In an interview with TMZ Akon, he said that the film literally helped him secure funding for his project from various investors and partners, and served as a visual example of what he was trying to transform Africa into.
There will be a 5 000 bed hospital in the centre of this magnificent futuristic city, which is estimated to cost about $1 billion in construction.
The U.S. engineering firm KE International offered Akon a $6 billion contract to build Akon City, stating that it had already secured $4 billion for the completion of the first two phases of the city’s construction.
The entire city will be built in three stages and is expected to be completed by 2029. The singer hopes that Senegal will be one of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa.
A City for Africans, made by Africans
Akon stated that its new city will be built by locals and will use as many renewable materials of African origin as possible, and its first phase is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.
Akon Lighting Africa launched in 2014, was a business venture Akon started which provided 600 million solar electricity in 25 African countries through a partnership with the World Bank and the governments of these countries.
Why Crypto currency?
According to an interview with Bloomberg, the idea of creating his own crypto currency started a few years ago when the Grammy-nominated singer wanted to convert some of his Senegalese currency to Euros in Paris, and he was told that he didn’t take that currency.
That encounter left him with a pocket of CFA francs, which is the currency used in many French-speaking countries in West Africa, and from there arose the idea of creating Akoin.
Akoin was first introduced in 2018 and is one of the 1,000 plus crypto currencies trading around the world in a crypto currency market with a capitalization of more than $260 billion according to CoinMarketCap.
According to its website, Akoin is a crypto currency that will provide a more reliable currency alternative that will enable people to connect and engage across the emerging economies of Africa and beyond.
Approximately 60 per cent of people on the African continent are under the age of 25, most of who do not have bank accounts and use their mobile phones for everything.
Akoin aims to be the crypto currency of choice for the 54 African countries that will allow people across the continent to engage in the digital economy using their smart phones.
Who is Akon?
The American-born singer whose real name is Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam spent his early childhood in Senegal before moving back to the US, releasing a string of hits that include “Locked Up” and “Lonely” from his debut album “Trouble.”
In his career, he sold more than 35 million albums worldwide and had 27 songs on Billboard Hot 100 charts, with collaborations such as Eminem, Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani, Lil Wayne, Bone Thugs and Harmony, and T-Pain among many others.
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