Thursday, 12 April 2012

the African Renaissance Monument, Dakar

Many of us would have heard about the African Renaissance monument in Dakar, Senegal. The brainchild of former President Abdoulaye Wade, it has been criticised by many for being a waste of money. He spent £16.6m on it. I for one wasn't particularly offended by the President's decision to create the monument, mainly because the arguments for it were sort of convincing - at the end of the day many people go to New York to see a woman holding a torch and a bible, why shouldn't they go to Dakar to see a man holding a child and a woman (which apparently embodies the Senegalese spirit) I had no objections until I saw this CNN video of the African Renaissance statue.

The architect explained the whole thinking behind it and then it just seemed confused, self-defeating and contradictory. I won't say that has made me completely against the monument, just the story behind it, and perhaps the Senegal should think up a more appropriate explanation for what it represents.

It just all has me thinking from the Dakar monument in the West and the AU building in the East it seems the narrative of Africa's leaders is "we want to prove that we can do everything we want to do if we emulate you and ask you to do it for us" still little child mentality, that isn't development.

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