Akon Secures Funding For $6 Billion ‘Real-Life Wakanda’ City In Senegal
Akon is forging ahead with his plans for Akon City, a futuristic ‘real-life Wakanda’ in Senegal.
The R&B mogul confirmed that production will begin next year on the development, describing it as a ‘home back home’ for African Americans and others facing racial injustice across the world, as well as supplying a host of jobs for the Senegalese community.
Set to bring Wakanda, the fictional city at the centre of Black Panther, into reality, the $6 billion project has already secured funding – despite the current pandemic’s effect on global tourism.
While born in Missouri, the 47-year-old spent most of his childhood in the West African country. As reported by ABC News, only 44% of its rural households had electricity in 2018.
The Smack That rapper explained:
The system back home treats them unfairly in so many different ways that you can never imagine. And they only go through it because they feel that there is no other way. So if you’re coming from America or Europe or elsewhere in the diaspora and you feel that you want to visit Africa, we want Senegal to be your first stop.
On Monday, August 31, Akon travelled to Mbodienne with government officials, where construction is planned to take place. Praising him for his investment in Senegal and referring to him by his given name, Aliuane Thiam, Tourism Minister Alioune Sarr explained that this project is coming at a crucial time for the country.
COVID-19 has sown doubt everywhere. This means that those who had doubts about the attractiveness of Senegal, and Africa in general must convince themselves that there are men and women who believe in Africa.
The project has already secured around a third of its funding – however, Akon couldn’t reveal who invested due to non-disclosure agreements. Construction is set to begin next year, with the first phase estimated to take more than three years.
Even with much funding to be sourced, village chief Michel Diom said, ‘We have a lot of hope. Many promised us projects, but we saw nothing.’
Once realised, Akon City will be fueled by Akoin, ‘a cryptocurrency powered by a marketplace of tools and services fueling the dreams of entrepreneurs, business owners, and social activists’.
In an earlier radio interview, the entrepreneur criticised those with the means to create such projects but don’t, saying: ‘If you can have a billion dollars sitting in the bank, while you have all these people suffering, it’s crazy to me. It’s like a waste of a billion dollars.’
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