Rapper Akon finally pens down an agreement with Senegalese government on a deal to create his own city in motherland, Senegal.
Alioune Badara Thiam popularly known as Akon announced plans to build his own city dubbed Akon Crypto City on a 2,000-acre piece of land back in 2018 after a cryptocurrency ‘Akoin’ he planned to launch.
The 46-year-old rapper closed the deal on Monday with the government officials and posted photo of himself holding the contract paper to Instagram carrying a caption: ‘Just finalized the agreement for AKON CITY in Senegal. Looking forward to hosting you there in the future.’
Akon said that the 2,000-acre site will be five minutes from the airport in Dakar, and its economy will be entirely crypto-based and will run on Akoin – a cryptocurrency he plans to launch.
While the name of the city has changed, Akon has given few other updates about what exactly his plans for the site entail.
In an interview with actor Nick Cannon in November 2019, Akon claimed the city would run completely on renewable energy and have its own airport.
He said that construction began in March and would take a decade to complete, with stage two beginning in 2025.
In the same interview he also touted plans for his Akoin cryptocurrency, which he previously said would act as the city’s primary currency.
It comes just days after Senegal’s state-owned tourism company SAPCO said that Akon has pledged to invest in tourism in the country.
SAPCO Secretary General Aliune Ndiaye told AFP that the deal was a memorandum of understanding, so the size of the future investment is still unclear.
He added, however, that Akon plans to build a complex in the seaside village of Mbodiene, some 120 kilometers south of the capital Dakar.
A spokesperson for Senegal’s tourism ministry said the singer wanted to build a sustainable tourism village that would ‘campaign for the environment’.
It is unclear if the city and the tourism complex are separate entities, or one and the same thing.
The website for Akon Crypto City previously described it as ‘the first 100 per cent crypto-based city with AKoin at the center of transactional life’.
It claims that 2,000 acres of land have already been granted to the project by the President of Senegal, Macky Sall.
It says: ‘[The city is] within 5 minutes of the new international airport, close to the coast and a short drive from Dakar, the capital city of Senegal (Akon’s ancestral homeland).
‘This mixed use, master-planned city, contains everything from residential to retail, parks, stadium, light manufacturing, universities, and schools.
‘Akon Crypto City has opportunities for brands, businesses and high-profile individuals to create amazing, inclusive experiences in a futuristic environment and welcomes anyone looking to step into the future.’
The currency itself is described as ‘a stable currency [to] stimulate and support youth entrepreneurship, economic stability, and growth across Africa and the world.’
The star previously started the Lighting Africa project in an effort to provide solar energy to the continent.
In 2016 he launched African music download service Musik Bi, with a mission to promote African artists.
In March this year Akon, who was born in St. Louis, Missouri, told TMZ that he could imagine running for President of the United States with Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg as his running mate.
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