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BY Francis Akhalbey, 9:00am March 12, 2024,

Idris Elba building smart city in Sierra Leone to debunk stereotypes about Africa

Idris Elba is building a smart city in Sierra Leone -- Left photo credit: Harald Krichel | Right photo credit: Greenfield Planners Sdn Bhd

Award-winning British actor Idris Elba is bringing a facelift to Sierra Leone’s Sherbro Island by constructing a smart city. In an interview with BBC, the Luther actor said he decided to hop on the project to debunk the stereotypes about Africa.

Elba, together with Siaka Stevens (the grandson of the West African nation’s ex-president), is partnering with Octopus Energy Generation, a renewable energy company, to bring the eco-city project to reality. 

The smart city will have amenities including a wind and solar farm that will generate power for people living on the island city. Elba, who is of Sierra Leonean heritage by way of his deceased father, also said he intends to build a film studio in the eco-city as well as a retirement home for his Ghanaian mother.

“Are we ever gonna make a profit? I don’t think so, but it is about being self-reliant, it’s about bringing an economy that feeds itself, that has growth potential,” Elba, 51, said.

“I’m very keen to sort of reframe the way Africa is viewed. We often view the framing of Africa as an aid model and this opportunity is completely different.”

Besides aiming to entice businesses and innovation, the Suicide Squad actor said they plan to make the city a holiday destination. He also said local communities will be empowered by the project.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: March 12, 2024


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