Celebrities are known for building business empires based on their personal brand. But while many have achieved billionaire status venturing into content production or fashion, rapper Akon seems to have even more lofty goals in mind.
Moving from making hit songs and discovering superstars (e.g. Lady Gaga), the Senegalese-American is ready to start a new chapter in his career.
The ‘I Wann Love You’ singer recently made update announcements regarding his to build ‘Akon City’ in Senegal, which he considers to be his adopted hometown. The plans project was first announced in 2018.
Now, the engineering company KE International has been awarded the $6 billion contract to begin building Akon’s ambitious vision. The city is being envisioned to be a smart city that solely runs on a cryptocurrency aptly named AKOIN.
It will be built on a piece of land near Senegal’s capital of Dakar. The 2,000-acre land plot itself was a gift to Akon from the country’s President Macky Sall.
Phase 1 of the project is expected to be completed by 2023. This includes the building of roads, residences, hotels, a mall, and a school. The completion of Akoin City is projected to happen by 2030.
Making a Big Impact
Akon was born in the United States to Muslim African parents. Growing up, he learned the djembe, a musical instrument that is popular in West African countries, and spent part of his childhood in Senegal.
The musician also let his African roots show in his music and even has a song titled ‘Senegal’ in his discography. Thus, it’s no wonder that Akon’s quest to build his own city is likely part of his desire to make a big impact on the continent.
He also has a venture called Akon Lighting Africa, whose goal is to provide solar power to various countries in the region. Speaking about the project in 2013, he said that he wanted Africa to be the ‘United States of Africa’ if he could have his way.
While Akon seems optimistic about his bid to create Akon City, there are still people who doubt if the metropolis would ever become reality. They pointed out how the musician’s latest announcement hasn’t been picked up by many large news publications yet.
The only major news source that has reported on the development is Bloomberg.
On the other hand, KE International said that they’ve already gathered $4 billion worth of funding from investors.