A symbol of unity

by precious obadara

The African Renaissance Monument is a gigantic 52-meter statue erected on a hill overlooking the bay of Dakar. She represents a couple and her child, raised to the sky, the man carrying his child on his arm and holding his wife by the waist, all facing the Northwest. An architectural technical feat and a daring bet, this 1.5 times higher design sculpture than the Statue of Liberty is destined to be a new place of tourism and culture!

The monument is located in Ouakam, a commune of Dakar on one of the 2 volcanic hills of 100 meters high, called “Les Mamelles” which overhang the capital. This work was initiated by the famous Senegalese artist Ousmane Sow and the country’s president Abdoulaye Wade, but the sculptor withdrew from the project after disagreements with the president. It was designed and designed by the Romanian sculptor Virgil Magherusan and President Wade and was commissioned by Senegalese architect Pierre Goudiaby Atepa. In bronze and copper, its lifetime would be 1,200 years.  made of copper, the monument represents a man with protruding muscles leaping from the crater of one of the Mamelles hills. Shirtless, he carries a child on his left arm while wrapping a woman on the other. It is accessed by a grand staircase of 198 steps.

”  The man, the woman, and their child are facing the sun, symbolizing the opening of the continent to the rest of the world. the child pointing to the west which symbolizes the African diaspora. It is a force of propulsion and attraction in the greatness, the stability and the durability of Africa, representing the unity of Africans and the people of African descent. For the Senegalese president, this monument is the symbol of the  “dignity of the continent”, of “Africa emerging from the bowels of the earth, leaving obscurantism to go to the light  “, After years of planning and construction , it was officially inaugurated on April 4, 2010, National Day, and anniversary day of the fiftieth anniversary of Senegal’s independence. “, Work that began in 2002, cost between 15 to 23 million euros.

A large staircase of 198 steps provides access to the structure at the foot of which are a museum, a craft village, shops. At the end of the steps, at the entrance of the statue is a plaque mentioning “Young of Africa and the Diaspora, if one day your steps take you to the foot of this monument, think of all those who sacrificed their freedom or their lives for the rebirth of Africa.

The monument has 15 floors that can be accessed by an elevator inside. Inside, in the lobby of the ground floor, we discover a slideshow of the history of the construction of the monument and a fresco tracing the history of Africa and its great figures.

On the third floor are large temporary exhibition rooms decorated with works of art. On the 4th floor are the VIP lounge, an authentic African living room and a royal salon with a majestic throne. On the top floor, you reach the Belvedere in the head of the man from where one enjoys a breathtaking view of Dakar, the bay, and the peninsula. This monument, symbol for Africa and call for the unity of the continent, is a place to visit if you go through Senegal.