Africa is to get the world’s first “crypto city.” Musician and entrepreneur Akon tweeted on Monday that he now has official approval to build “Akon City” in Senegal.
The singer is of Senegalese descent and first revealed plans for Africa’s most futuristic metropolis over 18 months ago. At the time, he said the city will be built on 2,000 acres of land gifted to him by the President of Senegal, Macky Sall. It will trade exclusively in Akon’s digital cash currency, Akoin.
Reports suggest that Akon City will be built in the seaside village of Mbodiene, five minutes from Senegal’s new international airport. It’s billed as an environmental campaign and sustainable tourism village. Last week, Akon also signed a "memorandum of understanding" with Senegal's state-owned tourism company SAPCO, according to LadBible.
The singer’s cryptocurrency Akoin is expected to launch early July, but the Akon city project will take considerably longer.
“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 said in the course of an interview with Los Angeles rap radio station Power106.
According to Euronews, building the futuristic city is estimated to cost $2 billion.
Crypto: “the savior for Africa”
Akon is the alias of 45-year-old Aliaume Thiam; in recent years the 45-year-old has branched out from his musical career into enterpreneurship and charitable works.
One of his first ventures was Akon Lighting Africa, which is providing solar power to African countries. The new city will be “all renewable, the Akon-tainment solar city,” Akon told Power106.
Akon argues that blockchain can enable Africans to become less dependent on their governments.
“I think that blockchain and crypto could be the savior for Africa in many ways because it brings the power back to the people,” he said on announcing his plans for Akon City. “Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology offer a more secure currency that enables people in Africa to advance themselves independent of the government.”
Akon is not the only entrepreneur who believes African nations are ripe for crypto adoption. Twitter CEO and Bitcoin advocate Jack Dorsey recently returned from a trip to Africa with plans for enterprise on the continent. And according to the United Nations, Africa could be crypto’s next frontier.
But a “crypto city” may be the least of Akon’s ambitions; he told music publication NME last year that he also plans to run for US President.