African 'Statue of Liberty' Angers Senegalese

A new monumental statue being built in the Senegalese capital of Dakar is seen by some as an African Statue of Liberty or Eiffel Tower. But for many of the nation's poor, it is a waste of money and an abuse of presidential power.
January 5, 2010, 12pm PST | Nate Berg
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The Renaissance Monument is a $27 million expenditure, and many say President Abdoulaye Wade is ignoring the plight of his people for a self-serving tourist attraction.

"His opponents argue that the colossal creation - built by North Koreans - says more about poor governance than African renaissance.

'People are so frustrated by this,' says opposition leader Abdoulaye Bathily.

Bathily says the statue is the product of a power-drunk president. 'The economy has collapsed. ... The education system is in a crisis. The health system is in crisis. And yet Abdoulaye Wade is squandering public money,' Bathily says. 'So all these things, people are seeing it, and it is creating so much frustration.'"

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Published on Tuesday, January 5, 2010 in NPR
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