Reports said that Akon City, the ambitious ideas for a crypto-powered smart city in Senegal from rapper and singer Akon, has not progressed after the laying of a ceremonial stone in 12 months, where Senegalese locals were left disillusioned.
It has been reported that the project has not progressed beyond the stone’s erection, with a small placard promoting Akon City having since fallen from its perch on top of the block.
However, Akon had predicted that the city would boast a police station, waste center, solar power plant, shopping center, hospital, and school by 2024, anticipating the project would be completed in its entirety by 2030.
The report said that Senegalese locals appear to be growing increasingly skeptical of the Akon City, the vision for a $6 billion Pan-African “smart city” boasting a crypto-powered economy located near the Senegalese village of Mbodiene that was articulated by Akon. The report cites Mbiodene locals who had high hopes for a surge in employment and economic activity who now know little of why Akon City’s development has stalled.
Jules Thiamane, a 35-year-old local, said:
“They laid the foundation stone with a lot of speeches and promises. Compared to everything that was announced, I don’t think we have seen much yet.”
Likewise, David Seck Sene, the president of the Mbodiene village youth association, said:
“I still have hope. I don’t see how a project like this could stop tomorrow.”
Philomene Bamimba, the Head of a local Women’s Association emphasized the economic benefits the city’s construction could bring for Mbodiene, said:
“This is big for us.”
Thus, according to The World Bank, more than one-third of Senegal’s 16 million population currently live below the poverty line.