Keep Us Strong WikiLeaks logo

Currently released so far... 2497 / 251,287

Articles

Browse latest releases

Browse by creation date

Browse by origin

A B C D F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z

Browse by tag

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
QA
YE YM YI

Browse by classification

Community resources

courage is contagious

Viewing cable 09DAKAR1069, CONFLICTING MESSAGES ABOUT WADE'S MONUMENT

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Understanding cables
Every cable message consists of three parts:
  • The top box shows each cables unique reference number, when and by whom it originally was sent, and what its initial classification was.
  • The middle box contains the header information that is associated with the cable. It includes information about the receiver(s) as well as a general subject.
  • The bottom box presents the body of the cable. The opening can contain a more specific subject, references to other cables (browse by origin to find them) or additional comment. This is followed by the main contents of the cable: a summary, a collection of specific topics and a comment section.
To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.

Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol). Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09DAKAR1069.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09DAKAR1069 2009-08-19 13:01 2010-12-09 21:09 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Dakar
VZCZCXRO6177
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHTRO
DE RUEHDK #1069/01 2311310
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 191310Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY DAKAR
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2953
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1251
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0408
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DAKAR 001069 

SIPDIS 
SENSITIVE 

DEPT FOR AF/W 
PARIS AND LONDON FOR AFRICA WATCHERS 

E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM XY PU
SUBJECT: CONFLICTING MESSAGES ABOUT WADE'S MONUMENT 

REF: 08 DAKAR 696 

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Details have continued to emerge regarding 
Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade's project for a "Monument of the  African Renaissance." To pay off the North Korean firm that is 
constructing the monument, a valuable tract of land is said to have 
been given to Mbackeou Faye, one of Wade's prominent supporters, 
with the instructions that Faye should pay the cost of construction 
(believed to be $25-35 million) to the North Koreans with proceeds 
from selling the newly-acquired land. After paying off the North 
Koreans, Faye will end up with a hefty profit from the land deal. 
In response to an inquiry from the European Union (EU), Prime 
Minister Souleymane Ndene Ndiaye defended the land deal without 
really revealing any details. However, his additional assertion 
that the Ministry of Finance (MOF) had supervised the process 
conflicts with existing information. Additionally, Wade's recent 
decision to claim 35 percent of the monument's proceeds as an 
intellectual property right conflicts with Ndiaye's assertion that 
the land deal was done transparently and within GOS regulations. 
END SUMMARY. 


BACKGROUND ON THE MONUMENT 
-------------------------- 

2. (SBU) The execution of President Wade's idea for a "Monument of 
the African Renaissance" in Dakar is currently in the process of 
being realized. A 100-plus North Korean crew has been constructing 
the titanic, grandiose edifice of a style reminiscent of the 
Stalinesque behemoths of the halcyon days of the Soviet Union. As 
described by a GOS brochure, the structure features an "African man 
emerging from a volcano, facing the West, with his wife, and he is 
holding his child up as if to show him to the world." Reportedly, 
Wade sees the monument as a cultural legacy for himself and a 
tangible symbol mirroring his belief that Africa must look to the 
future rather than be beholden to its past. 


THE MONUMENT(al) LAND DEAL 
---------------------- 

3. (SBU) Wade appropriated a public piece of land occupying the 
western-most promontory of the Senegalese coast, just northwest of 
downtown Dakar to be used for the site of his proposed monument. He  hired a North Korean firm to construct the monument at a cost of CFA  12-16 billion (approximately USD $25-35 million), according to Wade  himself. To cover the costs of construction, rather than pay for 
the structure from the GOS's limited budget, a valuable tract of 
land near Dakar's airport was appropriated. Rather than sell the 
land itself, it is believed the North Koreans and/or GOS engaged the 
services of Mbackeou Faye, a prominent businessman and one of Wade's  close friends and loyal supporters, to commercialize the real 
estate. (COMMENT: Although the GOS asserts that the North Koreans 
chose Faye to develop and sell the property, it is all but certain 
that Wade himself chose Faye and merely told the North Koreans whom  to hire. END COMMENT) 

4. (SBU) Faye has sold 12 hectares of land thus far, to Ipres, a 
retirement and pension institution for private sector and 
nongovernment employees-civil servants, for USD $54 million. (NOTE:  pres is co-managed by the private sector and the GOS, with Wade  nominating the company's director and the company's private board  confirming the nomination. END NOTE.) With the remaining land,  Faye is believed to be planning to build 270 luxurious residences,  each of which will cost USD $300,000. This is expected to bring him an additional USD $81 million. After paying the North Korean firm,  Faye is expected to end up with a handsome profit from the deal.  (COMMENT: Although Ipres's board is technically independent, its  members are vulnerable to political pressure from the Presidency.  Wade can easily pull some strings at the company to push deals  through. It is very probable that Wade had some say in Ipres's land  purchase. END COMMENT.) 


THE GOVERNMENT BEGINS TO CONTRADICT ITSELF 
------------------------------------------ 

5. (SBU) On June 30, 2009 the EU sent a letter to the GOS 
questioning the land deal. In the letter, the EU complained that 
the GOS gave up a valuable revenue-generating opportunity while 
continuing to ask for budget support from donors. 

6. (SBU) On July 9, Prime Minister Souleymane Ndene Ndiaye responded  with a letter defending the land deal, essentially arguing that the GOS had done nothing wrong, did not "sell" the land, and did not  receive any money. The letter also argues that the North Koreans,  not the GOS, chose Faye to develop the land. Furthermore,  

DAKAR 00001069 002 OF 002 


the letter asserts that the MOF was involved in all aspects of the land 
deal. This is in direct contradiction to what Abdoulaye Diop, the 
Minister of Finance, asserted during the presentation of the revised 
2009 budget at the National Assembly. Essentially, the Minister 
stated that the MOF was not involved in the monument land deal. 
(NOTE: According to XXXXXXXXXXXX the President handled the land deal himself without consulting  the ministry, and that the Presidency, not the MOF,  controls all public land in the airport and  upscale Almadies neighborhoods. END NOTE.) 

FURTHER CONTRADICTIONS 
---------------------- 
7. (SBU) President Wade recently claimed that since the monument was  his own personal idea he has a right to share in the proceeds, 
claiming intellectual property rights over the statue. Wade has 
subsequently created a foundation and claimed that 35 percent of the 
monument's proceeds will go as royalties to the foundation. 
Additionally, Wade has named his son, Karim Wade, as the president  of the foundation's board of directors. The money that goes to the  foundation will ostensibly be used to fund another of Wade's pet  projects, the "Cases de Tout Petits". These "cases" are early 
childhood education centers, of which over 100 have been built 
throughout the country since 2000. Although these "cases" are a 
good idea in theory, early childhood education is a luxury in a 
country where even universal primary education is unattainable. 
Most of the existing centers sit as empty shells, either locked or 
diverted to multiple other uses. 

MORE TO COME? 
------------- 
8. (SBU) In his letter, Ndiaye mentioned that a second land deal is 
likely in the works. He claimed that this deal will cover the  costs of landscaping the monument grounds, the construction of a 
proposed museum and conference center inside the edifice, and the 
construction of parking lots and an amusement park. 

COMMENT 
------- 

9. (SBU) The monument, the outer shell of which is missing only the 
man's head, is now a prominent feature of greater Dakar's skyline 
clearly visible from most of the outer rim of the city. As it sits 
close enough to the flight path of planes landing at Dakar's 
international airport, it is ensured of becoming a topic of 
conversation for foreign visitors and those passing through. The 
Senegalese man and woman on the street are also talking, most 
expressing the simple plaint that, if given the choice, they would 
have preferred electricity and running water. END COMMENT. 

BERNICAT