Africa’s long-awaited response to the Eiffel Tower or a towering waste of money?
On the 3rd of April 2010 a day before Senegal commemorated its 50th independence anniversary, the then President Abdoulaye Wade unveiled to more than 20 African leaders, the continent’s tallest statue, the African Renaissance Monument.
This monumental 49-metre-high bronze statue in the capital Dakar was meant to symbolize the triumph of African liberation and rival the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower as a tourist destination.
However, its story was dominated by controversy.
For example, in a country where 47 per cent of the population were living below the poverty line critics argued the estimated $27 million could have been better spent elsewhere. Additionally issues of idolatry and the amount of nudity on display did not sit well with the majority Muslim community.
However, for all the public shame and outrage, the monument still stands tall 10 years on.
So is former president Abdoulaye Wade’s vision of an African structure competing with the Eiffel Tower coming to life?
Nyasha K Mutizwa gets the answer from the deputy administrator of the African Renaissance Monument, Georges Denis Diatta.@NyashaKMutizwa