Senegalese born American singer ''Akon'' says construction on his $6 billion plan to build a futuristic pan-African city located in Senegal will begin next year.
Akon said he hoped his project would provide much-needed jobs for Senegalese and also serve as a “home back home” for Black Americans and others facing racial injustices.
He traveled with government officials to the grassy fields in Mbodienne some 100 kilometers (62 miles) outside the capital where construction has yet to begin.
Tourism Minister Alioune Sarr said Akon’s launch comes at a time when private investment is scarce and badly needed. International flights have resumed in Senegal, but at the moment are only for citizens and residents with a few exceptions.
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. After construction begins in early 2021, the first phase of the project alone could take more than three years, he said.
Akon, who said the project would benefit the local people, notably young Senegalese, is not the only international star with West African roots involved in such investments.