At the 2018 Cannes Lion Festival, Akon stated that his cryptocurrency, Akoin, would bring freedom back to Africa. In a way, it brings financial security decentralization away from governments. However, residents did not receive his vision with open arms, and a gap remains in absolute crypto adoption in Africa.
The Akon city is projected to hail in the Senegal mainland and not an autonomous island. However, that was a significant concern due to the centralized nature of the Senegalese government. Akoin crypto would have to adhere to state laws.
The Akoin Ecosystem
In the wake of an economic crisis in Senegal, Akon breeds an alternative. The proposed Akon city would help deal with mass protests and poverty. Consequently, the $6 Billion project’s success would initiate a sister project in Uganda.
Akon’s ecosystem is not a utility token but an entrepreneurs hub across Senegal. Further, it works with a decentralized exchange and a wallet that facilitates transactions among users. It enables transactions between major crypto coins without the limitations of traditional finance.
Akoin can be purchased on designated online exchanges using fiat currencies, Bitcoin, ethereum and Stellar. Additionally, a user can buy with credit or debit cards. Akon’s main aim is reducing paperwork and procedures for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Akoin gives African entrepreneurs a chance to compete in international economies. With Akoin token as a medium of exchange for gig economies, health and financial sectors, and governance, among others, lead to a healthy African economy.
The goal and mission could become a reality using any other crypto coin. However, the music mogul stated that Akon is a means of transaction with more prominent brands internationally. As impressive as that is, it faces challenges with government regulations in Senegal, among other African nations.
Challenges Faced By Akon
French Speaking nations in Africa, among them Senegal, use CFA Franc. Franc currency is regulated and issued by BCEAO central bank based in Dakar. The institution warned of the dangers of adopting cryptocurrency and termed it illegal. Moreover, central banks operating in the region are in agreement on the matter.
On a global scale, they warned investors using cryptocurrency and peer-to-peer platforms of “unsafe investments”. From now on, Akon relies on prepaid mobile network vendors to render services to the unbanked population. However, that heavily relies on cooperation from telecommunication companies.
Governments regulate most telecommunication entities in Africa. Consequently, that proves a problem to Akon adoption and success. If mobile firms choose to go on and support crypto, they risk government sanctions. The only legal tender available for Akon in Senegal is CFA Franc.
Many African countries have expressed Scepticism toward cryptocurrency. Additionally, some nations like Zimbabwe have prohibited banks from processing virtual currency transactions. Also, other nations like South Africa are looking for ways to tax digital currencies.
Cryptocurrency Trend in Africa
Akon foundation works to gain partnerships with crypto companies operating in Africa. Akon’s target revolves around firms, foundations, and countries willing to adopt crypto and integrate it into their economies. As established, most companies are eager to venture into a blockchain-based economy. However, their main concern lies with central regulators.
Nigeria, the leading economic giant in Africa, comes third globally for the crypto trade. Its massive business provides hope for the rest of the continent on aspects of crypto investments. However, in February, its Central bank’s unexpected ban on crypto exchanges sent harmful waves across the continent.
In the future, Akon will partner with Mwale Medical and Technology City in Kenya. The $2 billion hubs have over 2000 merchants and 35,000 residents. The pilot project phase in Kenya proceeds without a glitch or government interference. More crypto enthusiasts believe that in a matter of time, governments will yield to cryptocurrency.
Akon solution in Africa
Violent protest and a poor economy has rendered Senegal and mostly its youths jobless. Akon city offers job opportunities as it ventures into real estate. Following the housing problem in Senegal, the project solves house shortages on a national and international level.
The lighting project in Africa pioneered by Akon serves as grounds of consideration for Akon city. Since its launch in 2014, the project has brought solar power to more than 18 countries across Africa. After securing $4 billion from investors, Akon sets to launch developmental stages.
Akon’s Current Situation
The 1st phase of Akon City expects to be complete by December 2023. Full coverage would include Hospitals, malls, residences, schools, police stations and a solar power plant. The 2nd phase is expected to run from 2024 to 2029. Akon City, located two hour’s drive from Dakar and south of Diagne International Airport.
While certain government officials praise Akon city, it has received Scepticism from natives. Some doubt its legitimacy given its decade of poverty for its 15.4 million residents. The plan for the futuristic city is yet to kick start in Senegal.
However, the Minister for Urban Development in Uganda has agreed to offer government land for ‘Akon City` development. They term it a “satellite city”, a copy of the plan already laid out for Senegal.
Akon plans on building a real-life Wakanda version in Senegal. Due to the amount of infrastructure required, the city would not be complete until 2036. Opposition leaders from Uganda claimed it’s a “public secret” that Akon City would never exist.
Additionally, they urged the government to stop giving “sweetheart deals” to Celebrities and wealthy investors. Akon City is yet to become what many aspired it to be, and all eyes are on Senegal’s establishment of real-life Wakanda.