United States engineering company KE International has awarded a $6 billion contract to Senegal’s Senegalese-American singer and entrepreneur Akon to create a crypto-currency region. Akon says his city would resemble Wakanda in more respects than just his futuristic appearance from the Marvel hit movie Black Panther.
U.S. engineering company KE International recently won Akon a $6 billion contract to construct Senegal’s Akon Town. Earlier, the company said it had already secured $4 billion from investors for the first two phases of the construction of Akon City. In January, Akon first announced plans for building the area. The company has now announced the deal and added more information about the project.
Partners of Akon City include US-based Kenyan businessman and investor Julius Mwale. Like Akon, Mwale partners with KE International to build the $2 billion Kenya Mwale Medical and Technology City project. Senegal’s president, Macky Sall, will also designate Akon City as a special tax zone with tax cuts to attract companies to invest.
Akon City’s centerpiece will be a 5,000-bed hospital, which the media outlet reported would cost around $1 billion to construct, Akon says. In addition to the hospital, the first phase of building involves houses, hotels, schools, police and fire stations, an airstrip, a mall, a waste center, a solar power plant, and all the other hallmarks of modern cities.
Akon Plans to “renewable” the city, with an emphasis on solar power. Akon City will also feature parks, a stadium, colleges, and an industrial complex. The first step is scheduled to end in late 2023.
The complex is already complete, with 85 percent. It is estimated that the entire city will be completed about 2029 from 2030. Akon City will be a city-certified leader in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), operating on 100 percent renewable energy through KE International. It will only be Africa’s second LEED city after Mwale’s Mwale Medical and Technology City in western Kenya. The project started in 2014 and is scheduled to be finished at year-end.
Akon’s crypto-currency “Akoin,” which operates on the Stellar blockchain, would promote the city’s economy. Stellar is a crypto-ecosystem that includes its own crypto-currency XLM, which allows other projects to be created, such as decentralized exchanges, which new currencies such as Akoin.
The Stellar similar cryptocurrency is at the core of Akon City. Akon aims to use the coin as a common payment method allowing for easy exchange between the 54 countries in Africa so that citizens and entrepreneurs can engage in the digital economy with only a mobile phone.
Akon argues that cryptocurrency is the solution to the problems of corruption that generate widespread injustice in Africa. The blockchain offers a database that would make corruption incredibly visible if it were to happen. Governments are unable to print money and devalue the currency with a free cryptocurrency, and regulation of the economy is decentralized.
The city’s cryptoeconomic network can also address other developing world-specific issues, such as immediately measuring currency exchange rates, which is always a hindrance since there are so many different national currencies and trading methods. For certain situations, people also use prepaid mobile phone minutes as a currency because it is cheaper than conventional currencies to use and trade.
Akon demonstrated last month at a Binance virtual conference how Africans will be motivated by the akoin crypto-currency. Reiterating his stance that cryptocurrency “could be the savior for Africa in many ways,” he stressed that it will help them overcome key hurdles such as high inflation, mismanagement of funds by governments, and corruption.
Pointing out that many African fiat currencies are suffering from rampant inflation, the singer noted that exchanging them into other currencies is very difficult. For example, he said he was unable to convert the West African CFAs into euros when he traveled to Senegal, which led him to create his own cryptocurrency.
Akon says the Akoin wallet enables users to instantly switch between cryptocurrencies, fiat currencies and cell phone minutes without going through a major exchange using Atomic Swap technology. The software will also help users to get to grips with the technology in general.
In 2014, Akon also initiated a project named Akon Lighting Africa that provided energy in 15 African countries and founded its own charity for underprivileged children in Africa named the Konfidence Foundation.