May 23, 2010

Dakar

This week we visited the capital Dakar to see the center of the city which, during the French colonial period, was also the administrative center for all of French West Africa.  We spent time in the Museum and walked to see the Catholic cathedral, the presidential palace, and parliament.

In the afternoon we drove along the rocky cliffs of the “Corniche”  to visit the Monument of African Renaissance from which we had good views of the city and also the western tip of the African continent.  This monument was opened in April as part of Sénégal’s 50th year of independence.  Its massive size is taller than the Statue of Liberty.  It has been controversial due to its high cost and also because its scantily clad figures are not representative of a Muslim society.  However, it also attempts to honor those who sacrificed “their liberty or their lives for the sake of an African Renaissance.”

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