In 2018, singer Akon announced plans for a futuristic city that drew comparisons to the fictional African metropolis of Wakanda. The initial phase of the $5 billion Akon City–including roads, homes, hotels, a mall, a school, and more‐‐was supposed to be complete by 2023.

However, the project has experienced numerous delays. And today, the land in Senegal designated for the city looks the same as it did back then.

According to BBC, Akon says that despite appearances, plans for his city are “100,000% moving” and that naysayers will be left looking “super stupid.”

Residents of the local communities are divided in their opinions of the project with many doubting it will ever come to fruition.

“We thought we could work on it but at this pace, maybe our children will. We remain hopeful for the project. We hope that our children will stay here to work,” said one resident in an interview with BBC.

Another said they no longer believe in it. “When it comes, if it finds us here, we’ll see how we can contribute,” the skeptical resident said.

Borso Tall, a local journalist said, “I’m only here in the presence of goats. It’s completely empty…no sign of building. Just a long line of green trees and red earth.”

Still, Akon confidently affirms that the city will be built. He realizes that he should have “gotten more things in place before promoting it” and says that because of the COVID-19 global pandemic “everything would be pushed back two years.”

He has since changed to new architects and construction companies who he says have a better understanding of Africa and the terrain.

“I plan to retire in that city,” the singer says. “I don’t like to use the word the king of the city. But that’s what it will turn out to be.”

“We want the big skyscrapers. My goal is to try to build something that people deem impossible in Africa, right?”

The Senegalese tourism board, SAPCO, remains optimistic and committed to the development of Akon City.

SAPCO’s CEO, Me Aliou Sow, said, “We believe in Akon city and we are all supporting Akon so the Akon City will come to life. It will attract tourists and investors in the region and SAPCO is fully committed to the success of this project.”

Akon said excavation would begin before the new year but that construction “is yet to be fully calendered.”

Related: ‘Real-Life Wakanda’: Mixed Reactions After Akon Unveils His ‘Futuristic’ City In Senegal