By Ahmad Muto
The weekend saw discussions about Senegalese-American singer, songwriter, entrepreneur and philanthropist Aliaune Badara Thiam, alias Akon and his Akon city projects. This was after it emerged that the construction of singer Akon’s $6b futuristic city in his home country of Senegal is yet to start, a year after a stone was laid.
He launched the project in September 2020, to a lot of publicity and media attention. The city is inspired by the fictional city of the Black Panther movie. With its unconventional design, it has stadiums, shopping malls, homes, casinos, education district, police stations, solar power plant, high-rise apartments and complexes. Its construction was set to start early this year in Mbodiene, 60 miles south of the capital, Dakar. The city, according to the forecast, is supposed to be completed by 2030.
While here in Uganda in April this year, to pursue the project, he answered one of the questions that bothered Ugandans online in regards to the construction of the Wakanda city. That was because his net worth is a modest $80 million. He explained that he is working with investors, the reason he is able to pursue multi-billion dollar projects. He revealed he received one square mile of land for the project after President Yoweri Museveni gave him three choices. He also revealed he is set to invest about $6b.
“I have found the one square mile I wanted. The President gave me three choices, I have picked one and I am waiting to share it with him so we can put together the master plan,” he said without revealing the geographical location.
His visit followed that of his wife, Rozina Negusei in January during which she met with President Museveni and discussed investments in regards to the project – energy, tourism and infrastructure development.
Kenyan investor, Julius Mwale is reportedly one of the investors Akon is working with and the Senegal project is set to start before the end of this year.