In 2018, the idea to create a revolutionary solar-powered smart city in Senegal, West Africa, was presented by Aliaume Damala Badara Thiam, also known as the music maestro Akon. And recently he declared that the phase 1 of ‘Akon City’ would be done by 2023, completing the whole project by 2029.
The advanced city is to be on 2,000 acres of land in Mbodiene, a coastal village about 100km away from Dakar, the capital. And it’ll only be a 5-minute drive away from the country’s international airport. The plan is to have innovative skyscrapers, beautiful houses and offices, magnificent institutions and shopping-malls, amazing healthcare service and waste disposal facilities, eco-friendly tourist resorts and hotels, brilliant airports and music studios, and more.
It will be somewhat based on the fictional and hi-tech nation of Wakanda as shown in the movie ‘Black Panther’. But Akon insists that he has been planning on this initiative since long before the movie was released. And the film did help him to acquire partners and funds for the project, showing what Africa has the potential to become. The project attained a total investment of $6 billion, 2/3rds of which have come from unnamed investors.
People are to use the currency of ‘Akoin’, a cryptocurrency created by the singer for there to be easy exchange of money of any of the 54 countries with ‘Akoin’ when they came to visit. This is to help them engage in digital economy with the help of their smartphones.
‘Akon City’ is intended to be a tourist-attraction, with the musician making sure that it is the first place that people want to see when they visit Africa. It is envisioned to be a land of opportunities for those who are facing racial discrimination or are forced to believe that they don’t belong anywhere else in the world.