Grammy award-winning artist Akon announces he would consider running for president at One Young World summit
Grammy award-winning artist and businessman Akon has said he would consider running for president of the United States.
The 45-year-old made the surprise announcement at the annual One Young World summit in the Hague on Friday, causing actress Rosario Dawson and other to rise to their feet with applause.
Speaking to the audience, he said: “I know it may sound crazy but you guys just motivated me to run for the President of the United States.”
The popular musician was one of the panellists at the summit’s plenary session on poverty alleviation and economic development.
He said to his fellow panellist and Luke Cage star: “Like, I’m dead serious.”
“Just remember when that day comes and I’m elected, I will let everyone know that it all started right here at One Young World. So start pre-campaigning for me now,” he added.
Earlier on the day, the rapper unveiled a new mentorship programme supporting nine young change makers from the developing world.
He will be helping young entrepreneurs working in different fields including science, healthcare and education in countries such as India, Malawi and Mongolia.
The individuals will get personal access to the rapper, his team and partners for support and advice in achieving their various campaigns.
It is hoped they will then progress into mentors for other young entrepreneurs.
His prodigies include Leckraj Amal Bholah, who has launched a technology startup in Mauritius to make healthcare services more accessible, affordable and efficient.
While Batdulam Gaubat has developed a company aiming to address one of Mongolia’s greatest problem, plastic waste.
Akon, born Aliaume Thiam, is a multi-platinum selling artist who in 2014 founded the Lighting Africa Foundation with a mission of powering the homes of some 250 million across the continent.
In June 2018, he was gifted 2,000 acres of land from the Senegalese president and since then he has been in the process of building a futuristic city with an economy based around his new cryptocurrency, AKoin.
On helping the entrepreneurs, he told the Standard: “The idea came about when I realised that the most impactful parts of what we were doing always came from young entrepreneurs.
“They were always the most creative, the most destructive and the most productive.”
The rapper was one of many speakers at the summit in The Hague where thousands of young future leaders from across 196 countries were brought together with world leaders and activists to help solve some of the world’s most urgent issues.
The summit will return to London next year for the first time since its launch in 2009.