By Uganda Online Media
Kampala: City businessman Hamis Kiggundu aka Ham during this year’s Eid El-Fitr hosted a long list of guests who included American-based singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur Damala Badara Akon Thiam also known by his stage name Akon.
Akon and his family jetted into the country over the weekend in the company of Babs Hussein ahead of Eid Day which was celebrated on Monday this week.
On landing in Uganda, Akon and Hussein were chauffeured to Ham’s lakeshore palatial mansion in Kawuku, where they celebrated Eid alongside other guests.
Akon and Hussein attended Eid prayers with tycoon Ham and his family, after which he treated them to a sumptuous banquet.
Commenting about the brotherly gesture Ham said; “Am very grateful, honored and humbled by my brothers Akon and Babs Hussein who flew all the way from the United States of America to Uganda simply to pray and celebrate Eid with me and my family….. Alhamudulillah….. For God and my country.”
Although Akon had traveled to Uganda to celebrate Eid with Ham, in April last year, Akon on his visit to Uganda was promised land by President Museveni to build what he termed as ‘Akon’s futuristic’ City to which later President Museveni directed lands Minister Judith Nabakooba to identify land that Akon would put to use.
Putting the presidential directive into action, Uganda Land Commission (ULC) officials on January 7th, 2022, showed Lands Minister Judith Nabakooba the land proposed Akon for the much-anticipated project that is expected to kick off any time from now.
During the land inspection of the land located in Mpunge sub country, Bulebi village in Mukono District where Akon’s project is to be set, Nabakooba noted that any city, whether tourism or satellite, is a development to the country and it comes with a lot of benefits like employment, road construction and infrastructural enhancement.
“Akon is seriously interested in investing in the country. His representatives have been calling me almost every month to ask for updates and see progress. If they had the land they would have started already. Since the president committed to giving him land and directed us to get it, we needed to see that the directive is fulfilled,” she said after inspecting the land allocated to Akon.
This is the second time the two business giants are meeting, the first time being in Dubai during the Expo that ended in March 2022.
Akon announced last year that he is planning to build a second city in Africa, named Akon City, which will operate using his own cryptocurrency, Akoin.
The project follows one that he has been building in his native country, Senegal, over the last few years, at a cost of USD 6 billion (£4.3bn).
Construction of Akon City Uganda is scheduled to be complete in 203 and according to reports, both Senegal’s Akon City and Akon City in Uganda will operate using Akoin.
Akon City Senegal will use a ‘smart cities’ approach, a combination of the internet of things (IoT) devices, software solutions, user interfaces (UI), and communication networks.
Akon City Uganda is also likely to employ a smart city approach and is expected to feature futuristic shopping malls, stadiums, and recreational facilities like its sister city some 3,000 miles away.
According to the Akon City website, the project seeks to address the need for vibrant new community development, with a vision to create a business district, residential districts, a high-rise education district, a healthcare district, a technology district, a media district, an entertainment district, and sports facilities with a recreational enclave for the surrounding area to address the market need for the development in Senegal.