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The collapse of Akon City

The collapse of Akon City

By Prince Dankwa

They called it the city of the future. Akon City was envisioned as a pioneering model for how humans could live sustainably using solar and renewable energy. Founded in 2018 by renowned Senegalese-American singer Akon, it was slated to be built in Senegal and run entirely on a cryptocurrency he created called Akoin.

From the start, Akon City promised a utopian vision. It would prioritize green technology, with all power sourced from solar panels and wind turbines. Homes, schools, and businesses would be constructed using environmentally friendly materials. Residents would drive electric vehicles and enjoy clean air and water. Akon hoped his city could prove that Africa’s energy needs didn’t have to damage the planet. Akon City offered an idealistic vision from the beginning. It would put an emphasis on green technologies and run entirely on wind and solar energy.

However, Akon City has been abandoned and development has been suspended indefinitely, less than five years after it first began. Problems started early on because Akon’s inflated claims did not correspond with the actual situation. Considering Senegal’s systems and economy, the $6 billion price tag was completely out of line. There was no structure in place to control or regulate the city.

Issues also surfaced with the cryptocurrency Akoin. In a congested cryptocurrency market, it failed to acquire traction even with Akon’s star prominence. Few were prepared to make investments in the absence of validated use cases or practical uses. Without a source of income, funding for building didn’t flow in.

Akon still thinks that if Akon City’s guiding ideas are carried out correctly, they could succeed. Following its demise, he hopes to use the difficult lessons discovered to improve the planning of upcoming renewable energy projects in Africa. However, the vision of a bright city run entirely by solar energy will always remain just that—a vision that vanished before it could come to pass. Akon City’s decaying foundations, one incomplete building, and one non future looking Akon building—a representation of well-intentioned but misguided endeavors—are currently all that remains of the city.

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