Akon has suggested that people facing racial injustice could move to the futuristic city he plans to build in his parents’ native Senegal.
Akon first announced plans for the project back in 2018, before closing a deal to build the $6 billion tech and tourism hub with Senegalese officials in January.
On Monday Akon announced that a third of the funding for the city is in place and that construction will begin next year – claiming it could be a haven for members of the African diaspora who have been poorly treated and discriminated against.
“The system back home treats them unfairly in so many different ways that you can never imagine,” Akon, who was born in the U.S., told the Associated Press, adding: “And they only go through it because they feel that there is no other way.”
The singer explained his dream was to make the city the first port of call for Africa.
“If you’re coming from America or Europe or elsewhere in the diaspora and you feel that you want to visit Africa, we want Senegal to be your first stop,” he said.
The site for the new city lies 62 miles (100 kilometres) outside the Senegalese capital of Dakar. Plans for the metropolis include glass buildings inspired by the shapes of traditional African sculptures, a seaside resort, and a tech hub. The city will use its own ‘AKoin’ cryptocurrency.
Akon has invited comparisons to Wakanda – the fictional futuristic African kingdom in the Black Panther movie – calling them an ‘honour’.
He claimed to have raised $2 billion of the $6 billion cost of the project from unnamed investors, with work estimated to take three years when it gets underway in 2021.
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