The reality of a utopia is about to happen in Africa. This is in connection to the futuristic pan-African kingdom, Akon City, named after the Senegalese-American Hip hop R&B recording artist Akon.
Born to Senegalese parents, Akon spent most of his childhood in his home country, Senegal before moving to the United States.
Having reconnected to his homeland, he decided to take on a project which he called ‘light up Africa’. The project began in 2014 in collaboration with Samba Bathily and Thione Niang, which aims to provide electricity by solar energy in Africa.
Light up Africa is amongst the few projects Akon is working on including the building of the Afrofuturistic Paradise, Akon City.
Akon city which is officially underway, is inspired by Wakanda (the fictional African country) from the Black Panther movie. The project will be located in Mbodiene, which is about 100 kilometres from Dakar, Senegal’s capital city.
With this in mind, Akon envisions a city with millions of job for many Senegalese and African.
“I wanted to build a city with or a project like this, that will give them (Black Americans) the motivation that there is home back home and it’s something they can relate to. That they are familiar with, and it’s something they don’t have to fear, and they also have a choice. Because 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,” he says.
Akon’s commitment to his home country has received high commendation from the Senegalese authorities who have embraced him as a native son, praising him for investing in Africa at a time of such global financial uncertainty.
“This is how we show ourselves in Africa, that while Covid-19 makes all the countries of the world doubt the confidence they have in their economy, during this time, a Senegalese, an investor, who could stay in the United States all his life, decides to come and invest in his country,” says Alioune Sarr, Minister of Tourism and Air Transport.
Akon could not contain his excitement following the celebratory kickoff on Monday.
He said: “When this project came about that was actually before the movie (‘Black Panther’). But when the movie came, it was almost like a blessing, almost like God allowed this movie to be successful for me to get compared to such success to give people that mind state that this can be possible in Africa. And it also motivated us too when we were creating the city from an architectural standpoint that it has to feel and it has to be futuristic.”
The first phase of the $6 billion project will begin in 2021 — with a third of the financial investment already secured by as yet unidentified investors due to non-disclosure agreements.
Akon City will contain its own hospital, police stations, plus a seaside resort, a tech hub and even a recording studio. A hotel within the city plans is to feature rooms with themes of each of the 54 African countries. The city will also boast a zone dubbed “Senewood” that developers hope will evolve into thriving film industry in Senegal and even have its own cryptocurrency already named AKoin.
The almost surrealist, water-like designs of Akon City will be structured out of glass and metal – and were inspired by forms of traditional African art found in villages continent-wide since the beginning of Africa’s long history.
Many compare Akon City to Wakanda, the fictional technologically advanced African kingdom in the blockbuster, record-breaking movie ‘Black Panther.’ A huge honour for Akon, especially after having just lost the Chadwick Boseman at 43 years to colon cancer — the iconic and beloved actor who portrayed the royal superhero in the film and was a real-life hero to many in the global Afro community.
Additional source: Africa news