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Vol 51 No 9

Published 30th April 2010


Fifty years on, forget the first forty

An enormous statue and some airbrushed history were President Wade’s tributes to 50 years of nationhood

Fifty years of independence, with no break in democratic rule, might seem a sufficient cause for celebration in Senegal. Yet President Abdoulaye Wade chose instead to celebrate his own ten years in office. His persistent emphasis on his government’s achievements and his apparent attempt to arrange that his own son succeed him enwrap the festivities in controversy and political manoeuvring. At the heart of the row is an immense statue of a man, woman and child, slightly taller than the United States’ Statue of Liberty at 48.77 metres tall. The African Renaissance, which cost between US$20 million and $27 mn., is situated on the heights called the ‘Mamelles’ (Breasts), facing the Atlantic Ocean above Dakar.

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