(CNN) – The award-winning R&B singer is pursuing ambitious plans to build a “futuristic” city in Senegal that he says will be a realistic version of Wakanda, the high-tech country portrayed in Marvel’s blockbuster “Black Panther”.
“We look forward to Aykon as the beginning of the future of Africa,” he said at the ceremony, which was also attended by Senegalese Tourism Minister, Alioun Sarr, and other government officials. “Our idea is to build a future city that houses the latest technology and cryptocurrencies and also a future of how the African community should become in the future.”
Unlike other stablecoin-related cryptocurrencies, Akoin is pegged to mobile minutes and relies on smartphone usage.
According to the singer, many people in Africa trust their mobile phone companies more than they trust the local currency.
“We want to be able to eliminate corruption through the blockchain itself and I think starting with the currency is the biggest thing. The main thing that (Africans) will be able to gain is independence and I think being in a position to make financial decisions is key.”
However, Akoin has faced criticism and questions about how it works in low-income countries with limited access to smartphones or data.
Akon told a news conference that work would start in his hometown in 2021.
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“I wanted to build a city or a project like this that would give them (African Americans) the motivation to know that there is a home in the country … Only because they feel there is no other way. “
He added that his hope is that Senegal will become a preferred tourist destination in Africa as a result of Akon.
He says, “Since you are coming from America or Europe, and from anywhere in the diaspora, and you feel that you want to visit Africa, we want Senegal to be your first stop.”
Elion Sarr, Senegalese Minister of Tourism, welcomed Akun’s decision to invest in the country at this time when the COVID-19 pandemic affected the country’s economy.
“At a time when domestic and international private investment is scarce, I have chosen to come to Senegal and invest $ 6 billion in the coming years,” Sarr said.
This isn’t Akon’s first major investment on the continent. Over the past years, the artist has signed major deals in Africa.