Wakanda – the fictional and technologically advanced African nation created by Marvel Comics – imagined a part of Africa untouched by colonialism or Western influence in the record shattering movie Black Panther.
Thanks to the efforts of real life African nations, Wakanda could become a reality.
Under the leadership of the African Union, nations are pooling their land, money, and talents to build ‘Wakanda One’, an autonomous village for Diasporan Africans.
According to the Washington Informer, members of the AU, including its ambassador to the U.S., Arikana Chihombori-Quao, will begin to construct “Wakanda I,” an extensive village on a plot of land located between Zimbabwe and Zambia.
“We are planning on creating a village that will be built, run and operated by the African Diaspora,” said Chihombori-Quao, a medical doctor by trade. “This village will feature all the components of a regular city including hospitals, industrial homes, shopping amenities and stores.
“You know, when you talk about a ‘good Africa’ or returning home, many people say ‘Well, [Africa] is not what I’m used to,’ and to that I always tell them, ‘Then build the home you want,” she said. “We don’t even realize we are on autopilot waiting for the White man to build this ‘civilization’ for us. So we are taking our destiny into our own hands and creating something built for and by the people of the African diaspora.”
The village will be funded by members of the African diaspora themselves. Applicants will be able to register through a fund and buy shares that will help bring the idea of Africa’s first “Wakanda” to life. Through the fund, members of the African diaspora will be able to manage their own budget.
Chihombori-Quao said in order to manage corruption, those wishing to work in the village must follow “strict rules of engagement.”
“To operate the new village, it is very important to us to ensure that people follow strict rules of engagement, because you see, whether I am sitting here as an ambassador or not, this program will continue on because it truly will be run by the African diaspora, which is huge,” Chihombori-Quao said. “You know, when I was a little girl, I never foresaw myself in such a role as this. I saw myself as a nurse. … I grew up in apartheid in Zimbabwe and my options were a teacher, a nurse, a farmworker or a maid. So I tell people anything is possible and to just look at me — the little girl who used to run around outside barefoot.”
When Wakanda One was first announced, less than 400 acres were set aside for the project. But according to All Africa, Zimbabwe has pledged an additional 5,000 acres:
The pledge comes in handy in the country’s re-engagement efforts where it also seeks to court Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to contribute to the nation’s economic turnaround.
President Mnangagwa has also set an ambitious target to turn Zimbabwe into an upper middle-class economy by 2030 with tourism, agriculture and mining driving the vision.
In an interview during the inaugural Intra African Trade Fair, which ended on Monday this week in Cairo, Egypt, African Union Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the US, Dr Arikana Chihombori-Quao, confirmed President Mnangagwa’s pledge recently.
“I met His Excellency President Mnanagwa recently and he offered us 2000ha for the regional Wakanda One in Victoria Falls.
“The offer also comes in when the Zambian Government has also offered some land across the river in Livingstone. So we are looking at building the village straggling the border between the countries,” she said.
The Wakanda One village concept expresses a desire by African leaders for all people of African descent – the Diaspora – to return home and participate in building the continent.
Wakanda One – the building of African Centres of Excellence across Africa – is looking at building five centres, one in each region, which serve as growth nods for each region which should have downstream benefits for the population.
It will provide state of the art healthcare facilities using advanced technology and onsite pharmaceutical manufacturing.
Would you be down with supporting a project like this? Do you think that Zimbabwe and Zambia can pull it off? Leave a comment below!