A decade ago, we knew Akon as an award winning R&B singer giving us hits like Right Now, Beautiful, and Lonely. Today, we are talking about him because of his vision to create a futuristic city in his hometown of Senegal. In fact, he is investing a total of $6 billion to construct his vision which he says is a real life Wakanda! While plans for Akon city (yes, that’s really the name) began before Black Panther, Akon is happy to have his idea compared to T’Challa’s home.
A Real Life Wakanda
The main goal of Akon city is to create the beginning of Africa’s future as it will incorporate all the latest technology. Akon City will be a solar-powered city with healthcare facilities, luxury houses, shopping malls, skyscrapers, and eco-friendly tourist centres. Additionally, it will only be a five-minute drive from the country’s new international airport.
Akon City will begin construction soon and aims to be completed within the next few years. This is also coming at a crucial time for Senegal which is facing setbacks due to Covid-19. Senegalese tourism minister, Alioune Sarr, is happy with Akon’s decision to invest in the country.
Furthermore, this real life Wakanda will run on cryptocurrency instead of any local currency. Akoin will not tie itself to any stable currencies like cryptocurrencies today do. Instead, it will tie itself to cellphone minutes and rely on smartphones. This is because Akon believes that more people in Africa trust their cellphone companies more than the local currency.
Akon aims to kill corruption from third parties by having everything run on blockchain. As a result, Africans will gain a sense of independence. However, there is a cause for concern as only one third of Senegal’s population has access to a smartphone.
It’s Really Happening!
Moving on, his city planners are working to hire locally and source materials from West Africa. While he acknowledges that the real life Wakanda will have no place for farming land, there will be better jobs. In addition, he claims that workers will receive job training and a fair salary.
Akon’s Wakanda will be a new place for not just Senegalese, but also Africans around the world. The idea is that they will have a home back home. Other than that, it aims to contribute to the tourism industry by becoming a go-to destination in Africa.
Unfortunately, he is also receiving criticism alongside praise. While many are happy that he is investing in Senegal, others claim it will just be a place for the wealthy. Some are also criticising his building designs and pointing out that is unsuitable for Senegal’s climate.
This is not Akon’s first time investing and giving back to Africa. In 2014, he started the charity project Akon Lighting Africa. Partnering with the World Bank, the project is providing solar-powered electricity for 600 million Africans in 25 countries.