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Akon City

Photo courtesy of indiatimes.com

Born, Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam or better known as Akon is green lighting his real-life Wakanda. Many people may know Akon as a Senegalese-American singer for known hits like, “Don’t Matter”, “Locked Up” , and “Lonely”. However, he just proposed on building a 6 billion dollar city and will begin constructing his city in early 2021.

“Akon originally announced plans for the futuristic “Crypto city” in 2018 saying that the city would be built on a 2,000-acre land gifted to him by the President of Senegal, Macky Sall,” THe new city would also trade exclusively in his own digital cash currency call AKoin, he said.” (CNN)

In Akon’s recent interview with CNN, he referred his entrepreneurial skills as being embedded in his veins like a disease. The artist has been a well known philanthropist giving back to millions of people including his hometown. He established Akon Lighting Africa, a charity project which helped provide solar-powered electricity for 600 million African civilians and is still functioning in 25 countries across Africa today. Akon told Business Insider on a recent call, “One of my biggest fears was just being known for singing and dancing”.

Akon City will stretch 100 km (62 mi) amongst the Sengalese coastline starting 35 miles from Dakar’s new international airport to Mbodiène. The proposed centerpiece of Akon City (a 5,000 bed hospital) would stand nearly 985 feet, making it the tallest building within the country by far. The city will be strictly ran from his “Akoin” cryptocurrency which can be solely operated from a mobile phone. Former Hollywood producer Jon Karas is the president and cofounder of “Akoin”, tells Business Insider that Akon City has been Akon’s dream for nearly a decade. Akon aims for the coin to be used as a common method of payment allowing it to be easily exchanged between all 54 African countries.

Akon envisions his city will bring great opportunities for the people of Senegal while also making this a destination where African Americans can travel and to be free from discrimination that we face here in the United States. He announced earlier this month alongside Senegal’s tourism minister, Alioune Sarr, ” The system back home [in the US] treats them unfairly in so many different ways that you can never imagine,” he said. “And they only go through it because they feel that there is no other way. 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.”(CNN). Needless to say, he wants to be sure that African Americans know that there is indefinitely a home back home. Sarr cheered Akon’s decision to invest in the country since the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on Senegal’s economy.

Though Akon’s fame may have diminished in the United States he is seen to be bigger than Michael Jackson in Africa. Phase 1 of the city is expected to be completed by 2023 including road construction, a hospital, hotels, police station, and solar power plant. Phase 2 will run from 2024 to 2029, who’s coming with me?

-DreSheonna Joyce

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