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US Singer Akon Looks to Break Ground on $6B Futuristic City Project in Senegal


Akon poses for photographers upon arrival at the European MTV Awards in Seville, Spain, Nov. 3, 2019.
Akon poses for photographers upon arrival at the European MTV Awards in Seville, Spain, Nov. 3, 2019.

American singer Akon says he is moving ahead with plans to break ground on a $6 billion futuristic self-named city in Senegal next year.

On Monday, Akon traveled with government officials to the site of the planned project in the rural community of Mbodienne, well outside the capital, Dakar.

Akon, whose real name is Aliuane Thiam, said he sees Akon city becoming the beginning of Africa's future, with the latest technologies, cryptocurrencies.

Akon, the son of Senegalese parents who spent his early childhood in the West African nation, also hopes the project will provide much needed jobs for Senegalese and be a refuge for Black Americans and others facing racial prejudice.

Akon's project, which was first announced two years ago, has won him favor with Senegalese authorities who praise him for investing in Africa at a time of uncertainty in global tourism.

Akon said his idea for the city precedes the blockbuster movie "Black Panther," but he likened his city as a "real-life Wakanda," the technologically advanced fictional African place portrayed in the movie.

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