The Ugandan government has allocated one square mile of land to the business mogul for the development of the city, which is currently being referred to as ‘Akon City’ and will operate using his Akoin cryptocurrency.
NBS Television journalist Canary Mugume reported the news on April 4 from a press conference, tweeting “Akon to build Akon city in Uganda by 2036. The government of Uganda has agreed to allocate him land of the size of 1 square mile. The city will operate on AKoin currency, a stellar-based cryptocurrency. @nbstv”
Mugume also shared that he attempted to ask Akon about the projected cost of the project multiple times, but was not provided an answer. “I asked Akon how much this would cost. He skipped the question thrice,” he wrote.
In a clip of the conference, Akon takes an “If I build it, they will come” approach when asked whether Ugandans will be able to afford services in ‘Akon City.’ He explains that his goal is to make the city aspirational so that those who can’t afford it are motivated to elevate themselves to a financial level that would make it attainable for them.
“I think the mentality of us as a people, we already believe that we’re not worth what we’re worth,” he said. “I know for sure we’re worth way more than people look at us to be because their idea and their goal is to keep us thinking that we’re nothing so that they can continue to be something. Without Africans, the world won’t exist. Without Africa itself, the economy won’t even exist.”
“I don’t see why there’s a reason why we can’t build something up here for people that’s up here,” he continued while gesturing over his head as he spoke. “I look at all of us as we’re right here. The only thing that stops us from being poor and rich is opportunity. And if we don’t put opportunity in a place where there’s less opportunity, people will never have the opportunity to be great. So I don’t look at it from the standpoint of something people can’t afford. I know if I put it there, they’re going to find a way to afford it because it’s going to motivate them to be bigger than what they are now.”
In 2018, the “Locked Up” singer revealed plans to build his first cryptocurrency-based city, a “real-life Wakanda” as he put it, in his home country of Senegal. “It’s all renewable,” Akon said of the 2,000 acres of land he is developing during a 2019 interview. “[It’s] A real physical place, it’s going to have a real airport. It’s a 10-year building block so we’re doing it in stages. We started construction in March and stage two is going to be 2025.”