The Senegalese-American singer made the announcement about Akon City on Monday, saying he’s optimistic that the project will provide jobs for the Senegalese people and become a “home back home” for Black Americans and others dealing with systemic racism, USA Today reports.
“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,” Akon said. “So 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.”
On Monday, he and government officials visited the construction site located in Mbodiène, about 75 miles outside the country’s capital of Dakar. Akon said the project has acquired about one third of the $6 billion it needs, but didn’t reveal his investors.
Phase one is slated to begin in early 2021 and expected to take over three years to complete. It encompasses the construction of roads, a Hamptons Hospital campus, Hamptons Mall, police station, waste facility, school, and power plant. The second phase will end in 2029 and focus on integrating businesses to run on Akon’s AKOIN cryptocurrency. Akon City will also have parks, a stadium, a seaside resort, universities, a tech hub, recording studios, and more.
The intention has been likened to Wakanda, the fictional utopian city in Black Panther, a comparison Akon acknowledged, calling it an “honor.”