By Gavin Gibbon
Senegalese-American gave keynote address at the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival
Senegalese-American singer Akon has confirmed his intention to run for US President in 2024.
And he said he’s looking forward to going up against fellow music mogul Kanye West, who has also indicated a desire to run for the Oval Office in five years’ time.
The 46-year-old, who is also a songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, philanthropist and actor, was appearing at Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival where his keynote address included stories of his past and his career to date.
And he later told Arabian Business the stories about his political aspirations are true.
Akon, who was born in St Louis, Missouri, said: “Originally I was going to go out and try to run for 2020 and then I realised how many projects I had to complete before going down that route because once you go into that presidency of that magnitude, it has to be your only focus, you can’t be doing anything outside of that.
“So I had to make sure this was something I could deliver in a big way because this is not a small move to make and there’s a lot of things I need to learn, politically, that I thought I knew, but now I’m realising the game is changing politically in America.
“I want to take a step back, figure out what that looks like first and then walk into challenges that I’m aware of. Because if I go into it now, I’m walking into challenges I don’t even know exist, in Congress and the government right now. And this is all from secrets that were supposed to have been withheld and we are not privy to that information so I don’t want to walk into anything blind.
“I want to fulfil all my obligations on the business level and philanthropy level and then, come 2024, I’ll be fully prepared to run with a team that can actually put me through there.”
Kanye West is arguably as famous for his marriage to reality TV star Kim Kardashian as he is for being an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur and fashion designer.
The 42-year-old is also a close friend of current US President Donald Trump and has previously been pictured with him in the White House.
Akon said: “I love the fact that Kanye is running and I think he’s doing the same thing I’m doing because he also thought about running 2020 until he realised his best friend in that office is going through some changes, so he’s weighing things up a bit.
“It’s great for the culture and it also inspires real Americans to say ‘wow, if these guys can actually run for president, with their backgrounds and what they’ve been through, it’s definitely possible’.
“I think it’s more to raise the morale of all the under-privileged kids in America to say that they can be whatever they want to become in life.”