African Renaissance Monument in Dakar
By Jade •
The African Renaissance Monument is a 50-meter tall statue in Dakar, Senegal, erected in 2010 as the project of then-President Abdoulaye Wade. It serves to commemorate the ‘African Renaissance,’ a political ideology that heralds a goal of growth and prosperity for the African continent in the 21st century. However, the statue has drawn criticism for its high cost ($27million), which meant that state assets were offered to North Korean contractors, and for its artistic depiction, which faith leaders decried as ‘un-Islamic’ and ‘Idolatrous.’ This case study explores the complicated dynamics underlying one of Africa’s most controversial monuments.