The award-winning R&B singer Akon is going ahead with ambitious plans to build a “futuristic” city in Senegal that he says will be a real-life version of Wakanda, the hi-tech nation portrayed in Marvel blockbuster “Black Panther.”
On Monday, Akon, real name Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam, laid the first stone for Akon city in Mbodiene park, 100 kilometers from Dakar, the country’s capital city, and said work would begin next year.
“We are looking at Akon city to become the beginning of Africa’s future,” he said at the ceremony also attended by Alioune Sarr, Senegal’s minister for tourism, and other government officials.
“Our idea is to build a futuristic city that incorporates all the latest technologies, cryptocurrencies, and also the future of how African society should become in the future.”
According to its official website, the solar-powered city will have healthcare facilities, offices, luxury houses, shopping malls, skyscrapers, and eco-friendly tourist centers. It will be a five-minute drive from the country’s new international airport.
The singer was gifted 2,000 acres of land by Senegalese President Macky Sall to build the ambitious city. Akon also said he has raised part of the $6 billion required to do so through unnamed investors.
He first announced his idea for the idealistic city back in 2018 where compared it to the fictional technologically advanced nation of Wakanda portrayed in “Black Panther.”
The plan is for Akon city to trade exclusively in its own digital cash currency (cryptocurrency) called Akoin.
Unlike other cryptocurrencies tied to stable currencies, Akoin is tied to cellphone minutes and relies on the use of smartphones.
According to the singer, more people in Africa trust their cellphone companies more than they trust local currency.