The African Renaissance Monument, also known as Monument De La Renaissance Africaine, is a bronze statue of 164 feet high perched on a hill in Dakar, Senegal. The representation of a man, woman and child emerging from a volcano was inaugurated at a ceremony on April 3, 2010, by the then President Abdoulaye Wade. The unveiling marked Senegal’s 50 years of independence from France.
The imposing edifice was designed by the Senegalese Architect Pierre Goudiaby following a recommendation from then President Abdoulaye Wade and based on the concept that Africans shall overcome the current challenges confronting the continent and will achieve cultural, scientific, and economic renewal. That, the “new” African family, with future generations as depicted by the infant is rising and leading the continent into the modern world.
Nineteen African Heads of state attended the unveiling ceremony in Dakar. Notable public dignitaries included Bingu wa Mutharika, then Malawian and African Union President, as well as the African Presidents of Benin, Cape Verde, Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania and Zimbabwe. Additionally, a delegation of 100 African-Americans attended the ceremony, including Reverend Jesse Jackson and Senegalese-American singer Akon.
President Abdoulaye Wade’s decision to construct the Monument was not devoid of controversies as its $27 million dollar (£17m) cost and style stirred complaints from many in the predominantly Muslim country.