*During a recent return to his native Senegal to perform at the World Festival of Black Arts, rapper/singer Akon spoke out about the need for Africa to unite in order to move forward and keep up with the rest of the world, reports The AFP.

“Things like this actually create the environment for us to move together as one people. The more we realize what we can do together as a unit, the further we will get as an African nation,” he said during a press conference on Thursday.

“The one thing we always lack is unity, we always stay segregated. Even though Africa is one of the biggest continents, we never stay together as a people.”

Akon, born Alioune Thiam, also told reporters that he was appearing in the country for free in order to further the cause.

“The kind of money I am actually paid for a concert is nothing Senegal would really be able to afford. It’s about uplifting the people,” he explained.

“If I can get the economy up to where it needs to go in Senegal, then I can do freakin’ shows here all the time and get paid what I am worth.”