Idris Elba, the British actor, has revealed plans to transform Sherbro Island in Sierra Leone into an “eco-friendly smart city”.


According to BBC, the actor said he has “big dreams” to work with partners to develop the remote island.

Elba said the project would bring wind-powered renewable electricity for the first time to Sierra Leone, the West African nation where his father was born.

The 51-year-old actor said the development would be done while protecting “the delicate ecosystem and character of the island”.


“Originally we went there thinking how could we bring tourism to the most incredible 19 miles of beachfront,” he said.

“Never in my lifetime would I have thought I could build the foundation for a new smart-city. I’m not qualified for that but I am qualified to dream big.

“It is a dream but I work in the make-believe business. It is about being self-reliant, it’s about bringing an economy that feeds itself and has growth potential.


“I am very keen to reframe the way Africa is viewed as an aid model. This opportunity is completely different.

“The character of the island hopefully will remain intact. It is a beautiful, green part of the world and we don’t want to disturb that.”

Elba was brought into the project by his childhood friend Siaka Stevens, who is the grandson of a former Sierra Leonean president of the same name.

What began as a mission to bring tourism to the island grew into an innovative plan to develop the area “more sustainably”.


The duo formed Sherbro Alliance Partners (SAP) and struck a deal with the Sierra Leonean government in 2019.

The development scheme has yet to have a specified budget but will likely run into billions of dollars.

Stevens said the development would “potentially accommodate a population of up to a million people”.


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