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Akon, the pop star behind hits like 'Smack That,' is masterminding a $6 billion smart city in Senegal backed by a shadowy investor. Akon went on to sell more than 35 million albums worldwide and collaborated with stars like Lady Gaga, Eminem, Gwen Stefani, Michael Jackson, Lil Wayne, and Snoop Dogg. For now, the other investors and partners in the project remain a mystery.

Now he's building a $6 billion sustainable smart city in Senegal that leaves little doubt as to the star power behind it.

"In 25 years, all the normal buildings will be looking like this," the lead architect said.
Phase one construction – including roads, a hospital, a police station, a mall, and more – is expected to be completed by 2023, with phase two slated to span 2024 to 2029. Akon City is slated to be built on the Senegalese coastline about 62 miles south of Dakar and 35 miles from Dakar's new $575 million international airport. The 2,000-acre waterfront oasis is being designed to serve as a hub for business and tourism, and the renderings are the stuff of science fiction. In 2015, a New York court ordered Mwale to pay more than $209,000 to the former landlord of his Manhattan office after Mwale was accused of failing to pay rent and other bills for nearly a year. display: none !important; In the era of billboard toppers like Shakira, Justin Timberlake, and Kelly Clarkson, the Senegalese American crooner made his mark with megahits like "Smack That" and "Lonely.".

Dubai’s Bakri & Associates Development Consultants are crafting the corresponding architectural plans and designs. Firstpost - All Rights Reserved. There will be an oceanfront boardwalk with restaurants, hotels, and condos, he said. ", KE International; Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Business Insider. Here’s a Detailed Breakdown of Radio Monitoring Companies, An Insanely Detailed Discussion About the Music Modernization Act, Paradise Distribution Estimates That 97% of ‘Black Box’ Royalties Can Be Resolved & Paid, 12 Million Stimulus Checks Remain Unclaimed by Americans Because They Don’t Know the Rules, Moments After Its IPO, Warner Music Group Offers $535 Million In Senior Secured Notes, Irene Under Pressure to Quit Red Velvet Following Ugly Bullying Incident, Quibi Is Shutting Down — Short-Form Video Platform Gone in 6 Months, Joe Rogan Is Officially Kissing California Goodbye — Podcaster’s $3.2 Million LA Mansion for Sale, Juice WRLD Foundation Donates Musical Instruments to Rapper’s Childhood School. There is nothing fresh, never mind radical, in Ben Wheatley's retelling.

And don't forget the office buildings, parks, schools, hospital, and sports stadium. The continent is also home to a growing young population that's hungry for jobs in cities. For him the inspiration was deeply personal: he found his grandmother was still using candles in Senegal to light her home. The key players of Akon City also don't seem to agree on whom exactly the city is being built for. Akon City's official website depicts a futuristic metropolis filled with gleaming twisting skyscrapers and palm trees. It's more than a two-hour drive from Dakar on a narrow two-lane highway, according to Google Maps. According to Karas, Akon, 47, is "bigger than Michael Jackson" in Africa. +  seven  =  ten .hide-if-no-js { Akon has received $6 billion in investor funds to bring his long-planned Akon City to life off the coast of West Africa's Senegal. Karas, Mwale, and KE International all declined to name any other backers. September 01, 2020 11:41:01 IST. The company previously said it had already secured $4 billion from investors for the first two phases of Akon City’s construction. And they only go through it because they feel that there is no other way,” he said. display: none !important; The next day, Akon met with Sall at the Presidential Palace in Dakar to present plans for the city. Akon, who was born in the United States to Senegalese parents, spent much of his childhood in the West African country where in only 44 percent of rural households had electricity even in 2018. Akon said the project already has secured about one-third of the $6 billion needed, but declined to publicly identify his investors, citing non-disclosure agreements. Previous reports that the president gifted Akon the 2,000-acre plot of land for the city were incorrect, Karas said. “It just doesn’t make sense how 20 years can pass by and the condition doesn’t change,” he said back in 2016. Dylan Smith is a writer and music fan who enjoys reading and watching sports in his spare time. (Kenyan tech investor and entrepreneur Julius Mwale, who founded Mwale, is among Akon City’s backers.) In Mbodienne, hopes are high that this project will change lives even if two-thirds of the funding needed has yet to be secured. A hotel within the city plans to feature rooms decorated for each of the 54 nations of Africa. Renderings of the city show gleaming structures that twist and curve without a single sharp edge in sight. "My bet is it's going to be a little bit more money and take a little bit longer of time," he said. }, 5  ×  6  =  .hide-if-no-js { "African smart cities" has been a buzzword for the past 10 or 15 years, Mira Slavova, an assistant professor at the University of Warwick who wrote a research paper on smart cities in Africa, told Business Insider.

And if Akon has his way, this will be the first of several more Akon-branded smart cities throughout Africa. Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. The 800-hectare (2,000 acre), surrealist, solar-powered “Akon City”, backed by the Senegalese government and funded by unnamed investors, was first announced by Akon in 2018. Residents will pay for everything with his. Akon City. He burst onto the American music scene at 30 years old with his 2004 single "Locked Up."

There was a certain period of time, right around the year 2006, when you could barely turn on a radio in America and not hear Akon's voice. The project's main financial backer is a Kenyan entrepreneur with a mysterious past and a history of being sued over allegations that he failed to repay debts. People don't want somebody to come from America and throw around bitcoins and solve their problems.". The Senegalese-American singer announced Akon City’s construction plans via an official release, but hadn’t personally elaborated on the highly ambitious project’s funding at the time of this writing. Akon said the project already has secured about one-third of the $6 billion needed, but declined to publicly identify his investors, citing non-disclosure agreements. “The system back home treats them unfairly in so many different ways that you can never imagine. "In my research, as far as what I needed in the time that I needed, I could not find one fast enough.". "Looking forward to hosting you in the future," Akon tweeted alongside the announcement that the deal was finalized in January. KE International has raised some $4 billion from investors, which it will use to complete the building’s first two phases. ‘Akon City’ may someday rival the country’s capital (photo: Initsogan). Plans eventually call for Akon City to have its own hospital, police station, and even its own cryptocurrency already named AKoin.
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