In January, famous pop singer Akon announced that his 2,000-acre, cryptocurrency-powered city in Senegal would soon break ground. Even with the world embroiled in the COVID-19 pandemic, things are looking up as United States engineering firm KE International recently awarded the Senagalese-American artist with a $6 billion contract to build the city.
Plans for Akon City were first announced in 2018, and it is set to rise near the Senegalese capital of Dakar, on land gifted to Akon by President Macky Sall. The city will run on “AKoin”, a cryptocurrency he co-founded alongside Jon Karas and Lynn Liss, which they hope will be adopted across Africa and beyond.
Akon City is set to be sustainable and when complete, will be the second LEED-certified project in Africa. Current renderings of the city reflect the typical architectural and planning aesthetic of most smart city plans. As stated by The Architect’s Newspaper: “…the aesthetic seems to borrow heavily from the biomorphic, parametrically-designed structures found in other smart city proposals.” With a large man made lake and tall, organically-shaped glass towers, Akon City appears to be a huge leap forward compared to its surrounding counterparts.
The project is being rolled out in phases, and according to a June 4th announcement, consulting and engineering firm KE International has so far secured $4 billion from investors for the first two phases of Akon City’s construction. The first phase is expected to be completed by the end of 2023, and will see the construction of roads, a Hamptons Hospital campus, a Hamptons Mall, residences, hotels, a police station, a school, a waste facility and a solar power plant, according to Markets Insider. Phase 2 of the project will be implemented between 2024 and 2029, expected to deliver a complete city run on the Akoin cryptocurrency.
According to Bitcoin, “Dubai based Bakri & Associates Development Consultants will lead the architectural designs of Akon City under KE International’s guidance.” KE International is also responsible for the design and execution of the $2 billion Mwale Medical and Technology City, a LEED-certified green city in Western Kenya, expected to be completed in December 2020. Recently, the city partnered with the Akoin platform for its blockchain-based digital transactions.
Upon its expected completion in 2030, Akon City will also have parks, universities, a stadium and an industrial complex.