US singer Akon has laid the first stone of a new green and futuristic city in Senegal, which will be named after him 'Akon city'.
The RnB artist, who has Senegalese roots and was born in the United States, says a big part of the project is to help African-Americans who don't understand their culture.
"I wanted to build a city or a project like this that will give them the motivation to know that there is a home back home." the artist said.
"So as you come in from America, or Europe or anywhere in the diaspora, and you feel like you want to visit Africa, we want Senegal to be your first stop."
The new city being built south of Dakar will also try to ease congestion and overcrowding in the capital, where almost four million people live.
The artist said he also wanted to show that while the coronavirus pandemic has "the world doubting their economies," in Africa "a Senegalese, an investor, who could have stayed in the US indefinitely, decides to come to invest in his own country."
Akon rose to prominence in 2004 following the release of his singles "Locked Up" and "Lonely." The architect Hussein Bakri is working on the project.
"I said: 'Hussein I want my buildings to look like sculptures.' You know when you travel and you're a tourist and you buy these little statues. I said: 'I need a building that looks like a statue that you can take home," Akon said.