Multi-platinum-selling music artist and producer Akon is planning to build a futuristic city in Senegal that will have its own digital currency.
The musician, who is of Senegalese descent, is in the process of building the city and its cryptocurrency which he hopes will be “the savior of Africa in many ways“.
Doing good in Africa is nothing new for Akon. In 2014, he teamed up with Thione Niang and Samba Bathily to provide electricity to multiple African countries including Mali, Guinea, Senegal, Benin, and Sierra Leone.
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Here are 10 things you need to know about Akon’s futuristic crypto city in Senegal.
In January 2020, Akon met with Senegalese government officials to finalize an agreement for the establishment of “Akon City” in Senegal, according to Complex. Akon’s plans are to build in the village of Mbodiene, with climate-consciousness at the center of the city’s construction.
Original plans for the city were announced in 2018 and construction began on the project in March 2019. It is expected to take 10 years to build. The next phase of construction is set for 2025, according to Revolt.
Residents of the new city will use an app-based cryptocurrency – dubbed AKoin – to build the city’s economy. Mentioning the digital currency for the first time in 2018, Akon said citizens of the city could “utilize it in ways where they can advance themselves and not allow government to do those things that are keeping them down”, according to SkyNews.
The project has the blessing of the Senegalese government and its president, Macky Sall, who gifted Akon 2,000 square acres of land for his planned city and is supporting him in his plan to construct the new city, Dezeen reports.
Akon has previously said that he hopes the city in Senegal will be the first of many that use cryptocurrency in Africa. “With the Akoin we are building cities, the first one being in Senegal. We’re securing the land and closing out all the legislation papers for the city,” Akon told Newsweek. “If it works, we will scale it out to all the other countries in Africa so all the cities are connected.”
The city is expected to be solar-powered and sustainable without requiring assistance from an electricity grid. Akon owns and runs Akon Lighting Africa, which provides solar power to African countries, so he could leverage his company’s expertise to make solar power a major drawcard for his futuristic city.
As a green city relying on renewable energy, “Akon City” is expected to become Senegal’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified city, according to EuroNews. The certification system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, encourages the construction of energy and resource-efficient buildings that are healthy to live in.
The futuristic city’s website describes it as a “real-life Wakanda“, comparing it to the hi-tech fictional African country which was home to Marvel superhero Black Panther in the award-winning movie of the same name. In the movie, Wakanda combines lush river valleys and mountain ranges with towering skyscrapers and state-of-the-art tech.
The new city, which will reportedly be a short drive from the Senegalese capital of Dakar, is expected to include homes, shops, parks, universities, schools, and even its own stadium, according to SkyNews.
Once completed, the futuristic city will have its own airport for residents and tourists to fly in and out of. Those wanting to visit Akon’s city will, therefore, be able to fly there and experience the city for themselves. On a Twitter and Instagram post, Akon announced that he is “Looking forward to hosting you there in the future.”