Twenty African heads of state, which means more than one-third of this continent, inaugurated at a ceremony in Dakar, Senegal, the controversial monument The African Renaissance. It happened on April 3, 2010 and lots of dancers and drummers took part at the event. The power launched a call for unity and for the establishment of the United States of Africa. The Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade said that the statue designed by him represents the rebirth of Africa, stating that a continent which is more courted for its subsoil wealth and its huge marketplace potential of one billion people must be united. The monument was also intended to become a grand tourist attraction.
The Renaissance Statue, representing an African couple and their child, had an estimated cost of $21 million and is now compared to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Statue of Liberty in New York and the Statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro. The architect, Pierre Goudiaby, claims that the statue is now in the Book of Records, being the highest bronze statue in the world. The monument has a height of 52 meters, surpassing the famous Statue of Liberty in New York and it was built by North Korean workers.
During the inauguration ceremony, nearly 1.000 people, who were part of the Senegal's opposition, demanded the resignation of the President, who was in power since 2000. The protesters also criticized the colossal cost of this statue, which was located in an extremely poor country. They were angry because in a time of crisis like this, when society faces huge problems and difficulties with electricity, the president had the brilliant idea to spend millions on just one statue. So he wasted a whole bunch of money on a giant structure, instead of spending all the money on something useful that could really lift Africa out from poverty. That was what they were thinking. But Wade had a different opinion, believing that the Renaissance Statue will pull Africa out from misery.
Known artists such as Akon and Manu Dibango, but also African-American personalities like Rev. Jesse Jackson attended the event. The inauguration of the African Renaissance Statue has also marked the culmination of the events hold to celebrate 50 years of independence of Senegal, a former French colony in West Africa.