Idris Elba to Construct Smart City in Sierra Leone, Challenging African Stereotypes

Idris Elba, an award-winning British actor, is creating a smart city on Sierra Leone’s Sherbro Island. In an interview with BBC, Luther actor stated he joined the film to challenge perceptions about Africa.

Elba, together with Siaka Stevens (the grandson of the West African country’s last president), is working with Octopus Energy Generation, a renewable energy firm, to make the eco-city concept a reality.

The smart city will include amenities such as a wind and solar farm, which will generate electricity for the island’s residents. Elba, who is of Sierra Leonean heritage by way of his deceased father, aims to create a film studio in the eco-city and 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.”

The actor from Suicide Squad aims to attract enterprises and innovation while also promoting the city as a tourist destination. He added that the project will empower local communities.


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