The 46-year-old artist was this week given permission to create Akon City on land given to him in 2018 by Senegal’s president – Macky Sall.
Once complete, the self-contained community will trade using the Akoin – a cryptocurrency to be launched by the singer and philanthropist later this year.
The project is based close to the picturesque coastal town of Mbodiene and an hour away from Blaise Diagne International Airport. By the time Akon City is complete, however, Senegal’s latest international airport will be officially opened just a ten-minute drive away.
It is understood groundwork on the ambitious scheme has already begun as the musician aims to have the city fully up and running by the end of the decade.
“It’s a 10-year building block, so we’re doing it in stages,” he recently explained to Los Angeles radio station Power FM.
“We started construction in March 2019 and stage two is going to be 2025.”
Estimates put the cost of constructing the self-sufficient, eco-friendly city at around $2 billion.
The singer-turned-entrepreneur – whose real name is Aliaume Thiam – recently invested heavily in a solar power venture called Akon Lighting Africa which has taken off in many communities, providing 100,000 households with power as well as 13,000 street lights across 14 African nations.
As well as cryptocurrency, Akon City will rely heavily on blockchain – the technology which underpins bitcoin and other digital currencies.
Speaking at a recent blockchain conference in Malta, the artist pointed to the technology as a huge asset to Africa.
“I think that blockchain and crypto could be the saviour for Africa in many ways because it brings the power back to the people,” he said.
“Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology offer a more secure currency that enables people in Africa to advance themselves independent of the government.”