March 14, 2024

Idris Elba Is Building A Smart Eco-City In Sierra Leone, Bridging Heritage And Technology

Idris Elba

Idris Elba, renowned British actor and DJ, is steering his creative process towards building a “smart eco-city” on Sherbro Island, off Sierra Leone’s coast. 

Elba’s Plans

According to CNN, Elba, a Sierra Leonean citizen, focuses on blending technological innovation and environmental consciousness in this project.

The initiative, in collaboration with Sherbro Alliance Partners and the Sierra Leone government, is an investment venture and a heartening return to his roots, as Elba’s father hailed from Sierra Leone.

Sherbro Island, approximately the size of Chicago and historically significant in the slave trade narrative, is envisioned to transform into a city that attracts global citizens.

The aim is for the citizens to live and work there without sacrificing their natural beauty or climate-conscious goals. 

“Obviously, this is Sierra Leone: it’s one of the poorest countries in the world, so investment isn’t rushing through the door,” Elba told CNN.

“So what we needed to do is understand how to package an investment opportunity around this beautiful island without destroying it, being climate-conscious, and being conscious that there is a youth culture across Africa of the average age of about 20 that wants something.”

Elba’s Ties To Africa

Elba sees great promise in technology improving the state of Africa. His plan also addresses Sierra Leone’s economic challenges by packaging the island as an alluring yet responsible investment opportunity.

Elba’s engagement with Africa extends beyond this project.

As a fervent supporter of the African creative arts economy, he sees immense potential in redefining how Africa is perceived globally through storytelling and creative industries. 

This perspective aligns with his broader efforts, like his work with the Stellar Development Foundation, to improve financial equity across the continent using blockchain technology.

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.