Rapper Akon has decided to invest in eco-tourism on the Atlantic coast in Senegal, his family’s home country, government and industry officials said on Thursday.
Known for his R&B hits “Locked Up” or “Smack That”, the 46-year-old American-Senegalese singer and producer signed an agreement in Senegal on Tuesday with the public company Sapco (Company for the development and promotion of coasts and tourist areas from Senegal).
« Beyond his status as an artist, it is Akon, the investor who has faith in Africa, who is received, » said the Ministry of Tourism in a statement issued on the occasion of this signing.
The contours of the final project remain to be defined. Sapco secretary general Alioune Ndiaye told AFP on Thursday that the signed document was a memorandum of understanding and that the amount of the investment was not yet settled. Akon intends to erect a complex in the village of Mbodiene, south of Dakar, he said without further details. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Tourism spoke of the sustainable tourism village project.
Part of the Senegalese press goes so far as to anticipate the construction of a “sustainable” and “futuristic” city, a veritable “Akon City”, on dozens of hectares.
The rapper, Alioune Badara Thiam of his real name, was born in the United States of Senegalese parents and spent part of his childhood in Senegal before returning at the age of seven to the United States, where he gained more late to notoriety.
He is not the only celebrity to return to the sources for similar investment. British actor and director Idris Elba plans to build an eco-responsible tourist complex on an island in Sierra Leone, another West African country where his father was originally from. He was received there for the first time in December and received citizenship.