Most West African countries’ socioeconomic conditions are nothing to rejoice about. Coups, terrorism, and economic hardship have shattered these countries. The year 2023 will be significant for the region. However, the path to economic recovery and prosperity will be slow. And many people refuse to accept this reality. This results in white elephant projects that do nothing but waste the limited resources available. A white elephant project is one that is costly to maintain, difficult to complete, or unnecessary, but is kept going because of political or social pressures. You must be thoughtful about your work. Be truthful about your timelines. And make certain that your big, loud projects will not be a waste of time in the long run.
Akon City is one of such projects that is looking like a white elephant. Akon announced plans to build Akon City, a “real-life Wakanda” in Senegal in 2018. Akoin, his almost-eponymous cryptocurrency, was to serve as the foundation of the project. According to the BBC, both projects have encountered difficulties and delays, and the proposed city site remains a waste ground in December 2022. While the project looks exciting on paper, a city of skyscrapers, malls and other modern conveniences. It ignores the real problems that plague West Africa. A prosperous country is not defined by the number of skyscrapers and shopping malls it has. Their collective productivity defines them. There have been numerous discussions about Akon City’s construction. There hasn’t been enough said about the productivity that will keep the city running.
It is not enough for you to will the good of your world. You must also be careful about seeking the relevant knowledge. Being enthusiastic but not carefully considering what you are about to do is not a good thing. Akon’s projects come from a place of love. He cares about the future of Africa, and he wants it to be better. But maybe building a crypto city is not the best place to get things started. Look for the smallest thing you can impact that will have some long-term value. We tend to underestimate how much we can achieve in 10 years. While overestimating what is possible in a year.