After being gifted 2,000 acres of land by Senegal President Macky Sall in July 2018, Akon is moving ahead with his project to build a smart city in the country, with the first stone now laid.
According to previous plans, the city will resemble Wakanda, the futuristic city featured in Marvel’s Black Panther; be solar-powered; and run on Akoin, the American-Senegalese R&B singer’s own cryptocurrency.
Renderings of the project by architecture studio Bad Consult show tall, curvy, and shiny skyscrapers, as well as “shopping malls, music studios and eco-friendly tourist resorts,” reported The Guardian.
Based in a coastal village just 62 miles from the Senegalese capital, Dakar, Akon City, would revolve around the Akoin. Consumers would buy goods with Akoin right from their smartphones, which in theory would stimulate financial stability and encourage micro-exchanges. When asked specifically how these apps would function, Akon admitted at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity that he’s more focused on the big picture than the details. “I come up with concepts,” he said, “and let the geeks figure [the details] out.”
The plans will cost $6 billion, of which one third has been secured by investors. Akon City intends to be a land of opportunities for Senegalese, as well as African Americans, who wish to leave the United States.
A version of this article was previously published on July 3, 2018, and was updated on September 2, 2020 with more information.