It might just be the biggest ego trip ever. Akon, who is of Senegalese descent, has just announced on Instagram that he is officially the owner of a brand new city in his home country, Senegal.
Akon City will be a fully autonomous city, funded by tourism in agreement with the Senegalese government. The goal seems pretty legit; developing Senegal’s tourism potential, and thus boosting the local economy.
Akon wants to make Akon City a futuristic ecotourism centre using his own cryptocurrency, the Akoin. As they say, truth is stranger than fiction.
The city will also be a unique experience in terms of transactions. The local currency will be a digital cash cryptocurrency called Akoin, created by Akon to help Africa become less dependent on their governments. Akon’s goal is to stimulate some of Africa’s drifting currencies, destabilised by inflation and corruption.
“I think that blockchain and crypto could be the saviour for Africa in many ways because it brings the power back to the people… Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology offer a more secure currency that enables people in Africa to advance themselves independent of the government,” said Akon during a panel at the Cannes Lions Festival (France), in 2018.
“Just finalized the agreement for AKON CITY in Senegal. Looking forward to hosting you there in the future”, shared Akon on Instagram.
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Akon has been talking about this city project for a while. He originally announced plans for the futuristic crypto city in 2018, saying that the city would be built on a 2,000-acre plot of land next to the new international airport, gifted to him by Macky Sall, president of Senegal since 2012.
Akon, who was born in Senegal before moving to New Jersey at seven, is pretty involved in Africa. He is the head of Lighting Africa, an organisation which provides solar power throughout 18 African countries, and is working on developing renewable and competitive energies in the United States in order to invest the profits in Africa.
In a recent interview with actor turned philanthropist Nick Cannon, Akon revealed that city construction began in March 2019 and is on schedule to be completed within the next 10 years.
“It’s all renewable,” Akon confirmed. “It’s a real physical place. It’s going to have a real airport.”
During the interview with Cannon, Akon detailed that city construction is happening in stages.
“Stage two is going to be 2025,” he said.
Cannon responded, “Your own city? Man, that’s richer than the billionaires.”
“I feel like the new goal in the industry now is that people want to be billionaires and that’s the new title,” Cannon stated. “But one thing I’ve never heard an artist wanting or even getting near to accomplishing is having their own city.”
As of 2019, Akon’s net worth is roughly $80 million dollars, making him one of the richest R&B singers.