Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam, more commonly known as just Akon, is one step closer to building his very own Wakanda inspired African city, by laying the first stone.
Senegal’s Minister for Tourism, Alioune Sarr, announced on Monday, that the US musician had laid the first stone for the city in Mbodiène, a coastal village around 99 kilometres from the capital of Dakar.
Akon first mentioned his plans to build the 2,000 acre Akon City back in 2018, promising a technologically advanced, solar powered city that would use its very own crypto-currency, ‘Akoin’. To date, Akon’s ambitious idea has received backing from the Senegalese government, along with being funded by unnamed investors, according to The Guardian.
The plans for Akon City include skyscrapers, shopping malls, eco-friendly tourist resorts, and music studios, all of which will be run on the aforementioned Akoin. Akon mentioned that his investment into the city would provide significant opportunities for the Senegalese people, along with acting as a safe haven African Americans who face racial discrimination.
— AKON (@Akon) August 29, 2020
“The system back home [in the US] treats them unfairly in so many different ways that you can never imagine,” he said at the ceremony. “And they only go through it because they feel that there is no other way. 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.”
Few details surrounding the project have been made public, but the city is believed to cost around $6 billion to build, with Akon saying that a third of that funding has already been secured. The US-based consulting and engineering firm KE International, has been contracted to build the city, which they describe as defining a new paradigm in design and architecture for Africa, according to The Guardian.
Take a look at the brick laying ceremony below:
Image credit: Screenshot/ This Is Akon City