Efforts to build Akon City – a cryptocurrency-themed metropolis envisioned by musical artist Akon – just took a big step forward.
Akon has awarded the US-based construction firm KE International a $6 billion contract to begin work on the 2,000-acre project. KE International will partner with Bakri & Associates Development Consultants on the city’s architectural plans.
Akon City will be located near Senegal, West Africa and will use the singer’s proprietary blockchain-based cryptocurrency, Akoin, as its local currency.
Phase one of the construction is slated for completion in 2023 and will include infrastructure: a hospital, a mall, and a police station. The city will be Leader in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified and will feature a solar plant as well as residences and schools.
Phase two is projected to be completed in 2029 and will include hotels in addition to a university and a stadium. The city will have special tax designations from President Macky Sall of Senegal to encourage tourism and investments.
Construction company KE International is known for a similar, soon-to-be-completed project in Western Kenya. The Mwale Medical and Technology City (MMTC) was founded by Julius Mwale in 2014 and is powered exclusively by renewable energy. The 5,000-bed Hampton Hospital located in MMTC is set to be completed in 2020 and will also use Akoin cryptocurrency.
Akoin, founded by Akon and Jon Karas, is described as a tool to provide African entrepreneurs with opportunities and access to flexible capital. According to the white paper,
“Akoin’s mission is to unlock the potential of the world’s largest growing workforce by creating learning, earning, spending, and saving opportunities across Africa and other lean economies. The Akoin Ecosystem of Decentralized Applications (DApps) and Applications (Apps) provide the building blocks for entrepreneurship and economic opportunity.”