Akon is Gearing Up to Take Africa Into the Future
Photo Credit: Matthew Eisman/Getty Images
Senegalese-American musician and rapper Akon, outside of music, is known for his dedication to moving Africa into the age of cryptocurrency. Now, he’s looking to build his own self-named futuristic city powered by his accompanying cryptocurrency, Akoin.
His pitch for the development plans, which will take about ten years, includes making the city the first LEED-certified project in Africa and tourism city co-developed by SAPCO, Archpaper reports.
The futuristic “Akon City” is expected to have sculptural, interlocking towers, a large manmade lake, and promenade, in addition to residential and commercial areas built.
According to Business Insider, Akon has hopes of transforming his native country and restoring power by introducing cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Back in January, he announced that he finalized a deal to build 2,000-acre “Akon City,” which he also referenced as “Wakanda.”
Just finalized the agreement for AKON CITY in Senegal. Looking forward to hosting you there in the future pic.twitter.com/dsoYpmjnpf
— AKON (@Akon) January 13, 2020
Previously, he announced these plans to build his crypto-city in 2018 at the Cannes Lion Festival, CNN reported. There, he explained what he believes to be the key technological factor in Africa’s growth.
“I think that blockchain and crypto could be the saviour for Africa in many ways because it brings the power back to the people,” Akon said. “Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology offer a more secure currency that enables people in Africa to advance themselves independent of the government.”
Akon has outspoken on the topic of cryptocurrency in Africa and has expressed his reasoning for developing such technology.
Years prior, the idea struck him on a flight from Senegal to France while returning from spending time on Akon Lighting Africa, a program that provides solar-powered lighting solutions in African countries, Cointelegraph reports.
“I had a pocket full of CFA, which is our local currency. I was rushed to the airport and didn’t get a chance to transfer it while I was at the airport, so I was like, I’ll just wait until I get to France and I’ll trade it over,” he said. “They told me, ‘Well, I’m sorry we can’t trade that.’”
“And at that moment, I was like, okay. Something has to be done about this. This is just bullshit. I’m not standing for this. We have to have our own currency.”
Although, he’s not the brains behind developing the Akoin technology, he’s been vocal about how he’s making it happen stating “I come with the concepts and let the geeks figure it out.”
Akon’s technological efforts for Senegal are expected to advance it into a “sustainable eco-tourism smart city.”
The project for Akon City is being rolled out in phases, with the second phase set to begin in 2025.