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Akon City’s Delayed Construction

Extolled for its pristine beaches and surfing spots, the land near Mbodiène earmarked for Akon City was ceded to the Senegalese state in 2009 for future tourism development by Sapco. The first phase of Akon City was supposed to be built on 55 hectares of land secured by Sapco – eventually expanding onto a further 500 hectares by the end of the decade. That land belonged to several hundred people who were owed compensation from the Senegalese government. Apart from the Welcome Centre, the only other tangible sign of construction work is a recently-built youth centre, financed by Akon as part of a contract in which Mbodiène’s residents stipulated conditions the singer had to fulfil before being given the village’s blessing to build the city.