Renowned Senegalese-American musician, investor, and philanthropist Aliaune Damala Badara Thiam, popularly known as Akon has said the futuristic Akon city that he intends to construct in Uganda will greatly benefit citizens.
The singer who is on a four-day visit to Uganda on Monday confirmed that he will set up an Akon city like one planned in Senegal.
“There is going to be a lot of direct and indirect impact on Ugandans. We will be having some professionals that we plan to fly into Uganda to train the locals. We need them trained not only in construction but also the management of property and its maintenance,” Akon said.
“We need to ensure Ugandans are properly trained to do the jobs. We want to create more than jobs for the Ugandan population.
He explained that as part of the big plan, he wants to ensure that every sector in the country is touched by the futuristic city in terms of employment and technological transfer.
The Ugandan city is Akon’s second town in the making since he is also working on the completion of an Akon City in Senegal.
The Senegalese city worth $6 billion is slated to include a mall, school, police department and waste management service in addition to parks, stadiums and other recreational facilities.
Speaking on Monday, the singer cum investor explained that in Uganda, the city will replicate what is in Senegal.
“The Akon City will have an entertainment district and because there are many people employed in entertainment in Uganda who don’t have access to proper recording studios, proper film studios and other facilities, they will greatly benefit from this.”
“We will also have the medical district with a 10,000-bed hospital as a place to go for proper treatment. You will not have to fly all the way to France or Dubai to be treated but rather stay home and get the treatment.”
The singer said there will also be a business district for entrepreneurs and banks; the educational district with four universities, IT and law districts.
“The idea is that everything you use in your day today life and everything that allows you be the best will be found in the city. These are opportunities that Ugandans will benefit from,” the singer emphasized.
However, many have said the services in the futuristic city by the Senegalese singer might seem to be so expensive for ordinary Ugandans to afford but the singer dispelled it as a myth.
“If we put ourselves in a situation where we think that everything is impossible, we will never reach the goals outside of who we are. If we don’t put opportunity in a place where there’s less opportunity, people won’t have the opportunity to be great. The only thing that stops us from being rich is opportunity,” he said.
He said the Akon Cities in several countries around Africa is one of the ways he is trying to rebuild and connect the African continent.
Many people, especially on social media have labeled Akon City as one that may not come to pass but the singer noted it will not come in 2 or five years but rather will only be ready by 2036, 15 years from now.
“If you think the city is going to happen in one or two years, it is not. It takes a lot of time to build a city. This is a long-term investment planning that we are looking to do in the next 15 years for the full project to be finished. We hope everything works the way it is supposed to work,”Akon said.
The singer said his team will do the necessary studies to ensure everything goes according to plan.
Dr.Chris Baryomunsi, the minister for Housing said government will move with Akon and his team to identify a piece of land measuring one square mile for the singer to start the 15-year long-term investment plan.