Akon, the Senegalese American singer and songwriter, is not slowing down with his plans to built “Akon City” in Senegal. By leveraging Akoin cryptocurrency and renewable energy, Akon plans to empower digital infrastructure. During a time when COVID19 has irreversibly changed how the world runs, Akon believes that there has never been a better time for Akon City to come to fruition. By constructing a city around Akoin cryptocurrency, Akon believes he can service the “unbanked,” and create a better future for the people of Senegal during unprecedented times.
Increased Interest in Crypto
For many years, those in mainstream finance have paid lip service to crypto. However, crypto has received increasing attention from high-profile investors in the face of wanton money printing measures, also known as quantitative easing. Additionally, cryptocurrency adoption has seen exponential growth in geographic regions that lack financial services. These individuals can be categorized with the “unbanked population.”
Akon City Looks More Valuable
Akon, a Grammy-nominated R&B singer has been working on Akon City in his home country of Senegal. The city is based around the concept of crypto and has previously been called the real-life Wakanda. According to Jon Karas, who is heading the development of the Akoin crypto coin, the COVID19 pandemic has made the development of Akon City more necessary.
Karas claimed that Akon City and the Akoin cryptocurrency were more necessary because of COVID19 during a phone interview. He claimed that crypto would help to create better pathways, offer banking services to the unbanked, and create a better and more sustainable future for the Senegalese.
In September a special envoy to the WHO warned that the world was still in the early stages of the pandemic. It noted that while Africa had not had a high mortality rate due to COVID19, the economic impact would still be felt.
The envoy noted that millions of Africans would most likely lose their jobs. Consequently, many will be forced into extreme poverty due to the pandemic, according to Karas. As a result, it was forcing them to become creative.
Plans For Akon City
Akon City is being built on 2000 acres of land, which is located 60 miles south of Dakar, the capital of Senegal. In January 2020, Akon revealed that he had finalized all the necessary agreements with the government to get his city running.
On September 1, 2020, Akon laid the first stone for his futuristic city. Plans for the city were first revealed in 2018. The city will be powered by the Akoin cryptocurrency and renewable energy. The organizer of Akon City later signed a $6 billion contract with KE International in June 2020. It is slated for completion by 2030.
As @Akon promotes his $6 billion plan for "Akon City" on the coast of Senegal, he says he's "honored" to have his vision for the project compared to "Black Panther's" futuristic country of Wakanda. pic.twitter.com/iT2bKcJ2NN
— AP Entertainment (@APEntertainment) September 1, 2020
According to the whitepaper for the Akoin, it will enable atomic swaps between fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies, and mobile phone credits, which are common throughout Africa. The Akoin is built on the Stellar (XLM) network. Besides being used for payments, it will help the city to integrate the blockchain into all operations, including paying taxes and transportation.
The Digital Barrier
According to a report by the Kansas City Fed, COVID19 is causing most consumers to shift to digital payments. The problem here is that many individuals can not make the shift due to technological barriers. These groups of people are generally either digitally excluded or financially excluded.
According to a study that was done back in 2017, just in the United States alone, 79% of the unbanked population was highly digitally and financially excluded. In other geographic regions across the world, these numbers are expected to be even higher based on the United States technological abilities compared to other developing countries. Akon City has the opportunity to change the narrative, and get the unbanked population involved in everyday finance.
Plans For Expansion
Karas plans to expand the Akoin digital asset to other nations and cities across Africa. There are even plans to expand into SE Asia. Early this year, it was revealed that Akoin would be launched in a $2 billion smart city being built in Kenya called Mwale Medical and Technology City (MMTC).
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