Five-time Grammy nominee Akon won’t be lonely anymore: he’s building a whole futuristic city to live in.
The singer tweeted earlier this week that an agreement had been reached with the Senegalese Government to create AKON CITY — an ambitious if relatively vague settlement powered by renewable energy.
The idea has reportedly been in development for some time and is an extension of Akon’s commitment to clean energy, delivered through his Akon Lighting Africa and Akon Lighting America projects.
According to Fox News, Akon City will be built on 2,000 acres of land a five-minute drive from Senegalese capital Dakar. It’s been given the go-ahead by SAPCO, Senegal’s state-owned tourism company, and will consist of 65 villas.
“Beyond his status as an artist, it is Akon, the investor who believes in Africa,” the tourism ministry said in a statement before the ceremony, as quoted by Fox.
What’s more, residents will use a new cryptocurrency known as Akoin. This differs from other cryptocurrencies in that it’s tied to mobile phone minutes rather than stable currency. A CNN analyst said Akon believes that people in Africa trust these minutes and mobile companies more than their local currencies.
.@Akon hopes to launch #AKoin, his #cryptocurrency for #Africa, in the first two months of 2020. “I think this will give Africa back its hold on not only their resources, but also just their ideas,” the singer tells @Hadas_Gold. pic.twitter.com/4xwLGeMCUw
— Quest Means Business (@questCNN) November 5, 2019
“I’m targeting Africa specifically because that’s where the need is…,” the singer added to CNN. “One of our biggest issues and biggest problems has always been corruption.
“We want to kill that corruption just through the blockchain itself. Starting with money is the biggest thing: if you follow the money, you follow the truth.”
Akon has spent much of the past decade focused on development in Africa. His Akon Lighting projects are active in over 16 countries, providing electricity and clean water through sustainable energy solutions. Setting out his interest in running for US President in 2024 to The Real, he added that he was “literally advising 30 African presidents as we speak.”
Back to Akon City — the star is clearly enthused by his futuristic project, which he tells Newsweek will be finished within a decade. “If it works, we will scale it out to all the other countries in Africa so all the cities are connected.
“It’s going to be a 50-to-100 year project, most likely. I probably won’t even live to see it finished. But for the project in Senegal, we have a 10-year deadline for that city to be built out.
“We’re currently raising all the money for it now; some of it will be through hedge funds outside of Africa, and the majority of it will be through NGOs and investors within Africa itself.”
Newsweek sets out the few other plans that exist about the project, such as an intention to use “leading smart city planning designs” with “a blank canvas for cryptonizing our daily human and business exchanges with the goal of inventing a radical new way of existence.”
Aliaume Thiam (Akon)
Akon Lighting Africa