47-year-old Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam, or as popularly known by his stage name, Akon, is currently building his tech-centric and futuristic city ‘Akon City’ in Senegal. Much has been said about the proposed city, including some referring to it as the Wakanda City in the Academy Awards winner sci-fi movie Black Panther.
You may have not seen Akon songs climbing the charts lately. Nonetheless, the multi-faceted musician is creating his own unique and remarkable lane in Africa. Where he has been spending time, money, and energy on improving lives.
The Akon City
In an interview on the Nick Cannon Mornings radio show on Power 106 Los Angeles last June, Akon revealed that construction for the Akon City is already underway. The city will run on renewable energy and include an airport.
“It’s all renewable, the Akon-tainment solar city. It’s all renewable. A real physical place, it’s going to have a real airport. It’s a 10-year building block so we’re doing it in stages.
We started construction in March and stage two is going to be 2025.” – Akon.
The AKoin website says the musician has been gifted 2,000 acres of land by the Senegalese President, on which the Akon City will be developed. The City is a short drive from the capital Dakar.
The AKoin – Cryptocurrency
People living and working in the Akon City will be able to buy, store, and spend AKoin (a new cryptocurrency developed by the rapper named after himself) within the city. It will be the “first 100% crypto-based city” in Africa and will go a long way in curbing the run-away corruption bedeviling the continent.
Akon’s solution to Africa’s shameless Corruption
It is an unfortunate reality that many of the dreams of people living in Africa are stolen daily. Dreams of financial freedom, decent health care, quality education, housing and security among others, are stolen every day by the ruling political class.
The politicians and their cronies embezzle public resources leading to stagnated and completely failed delivery of public services. Leaving the populous at either the mercies of foreign aids or to fend for themselves with extremely high odds against them.
Akon believes that the blockchain technology back AKoin cryptocurrency, the power will return to the people. While denying crooked politicians running the government the chance to get their hands on public money. That money can hence be used to fund the services and utilities needed by the community.
Resources flight out of Africa
The continent of Africa has been over-burden by theft. It might have begun with the colonial masters stealing the continent’s natural resources, ranging from minerals, cash crops, to the people themselves who were shipped out as slaves to foreign lands.
In the 21st century, the continent is still being robbed. Albeit in a different form compared to the earlier centuries. The continent’s human resources are leaving in search of employment and economic opportunities in business. Nevermind they were trained in their respective professions while in Africa, and as they leave they create a brain-drain as the continent losses its most qualified professionals in the given fields.
Politicians too are stealing public funds and use the money to invest in off-shore accounts. Leading to a serious lack of public service delivery while at creating economic opportunities away from their home country.
A Rapper giving back to his Home Community
Not to ‘dis’ on musicians, particularly artists within the hip hop genre of music who seem to be promoting vanity. It is not unheard of a musician ‘blowing off’ all the money they get from their music on vanities like race cars, yachts, grand houses, and flashy lifestyle. All of which sustained on a lease or rental arrangement.
Once the cash inflow taps stop running, the rapper’s lifestyle will fall from grace, back to grass. Akon’s undertaking is by no means a cheap undertaking. Indeed, during his interview mentioned above, Nick Cannon subtly alluded to Akon being a billionaire to undertake the projects he is doing in Africa.
Projects that also include an ambitious plan to connect thousands of people on the continent with electricity powered by solar energy. Cannon was indeed referring to Akon as a billionaire, and as you can imagine there are many more artists out there, some even more successful than him. However, Akon seemed uncomfortable being referred to as such.
“When I hear stuff like that, it makes me sad because when I travel, I see so many things that happen. So many people that need… things to be resolved. And if you have a billion dollars sitting in the bank, while you have all these people suffering, it’s crazy to me…. It’s like a waste of a billion dollars.”
The singer, songwriter, and producer was born in St. Louis, Missouri to African parents Mor Thiam and Kine Thiam. His father, Mor was a jazz percussionist and his mother Kine was a dancer. So Akon was exposed to the music industry from a very young age.
His family returned to the Senegal capital Dakar, where they lived until Akon was 7-years-old when they moved back to the United States. Akon grew up in Jersey City, New Jersey where his music career journey started.