Five centres are already operational in different parts of the country

Nov 9 , 2019

The United States Embassy will open a new public space in Meqelle, capital of the Tigray Regional State, in February. The America Corner will be the sixth one for the country.

The space is intended to host public diplomacy programmes, promote open dialogue and as platforms for engagement with the Ethiopian people, according to the US Embassy.

The public space will be situated inside the main campus of Meqelle University. A building has been constructed for this purpose, and is now in the final stages of construction. The centres will be equipped with video conferencing facilities and meeting halls.

The American Corner also includes working spaces, a computer lab and a reading area. Regular weekly programmes on a variety of topics including STEM education, English, studying opportunities in the US and American culture and values are expected to be held at the facilities.

“Even if the space is located inside the campus, its benefit will be for the whole community,” said Abdelkader Kedir (PhD), vice president of Meqelle University. “We are also collaborating with the US government on various projects including in health.”

There are already two centers in Addis Abeba in addition to the three more public spaces opened in Bahir Dar, Dire Dawa and Jimma.

Among the five American spaces already operational, one is located on the premises of the US Embassy in Addis Abeba, which is named Satchmo Center named after the African-American jazz legend Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong.

The centre started operation in 2014 in Piassa and later on moved to the embassy in 2016. A membership badge is required to have access to the facilities at the centre and the available information resources that include access to academic databases.

Another is found within the compound of the National Archives & Library Agency (NALA) along Sudan Street near the Swedish embassy. The centre is named after Col. John C. Robinson, an African-American military pilot who was instrumental in the establishment of Ethiopian Airlines.

The relationship between the nations dates back to the regime of Haile Selassie, especially after World War II when the United States became one of the country’s chief allies. The most high profile economic relationship was the establishment of Ethiopian Airlines, which was managed by the former Trans World Airlines (TWA) for three decades.

Currently, the United States is one of the biggest donors of aid to Ethiopia as well as one of the primary destinations of export goods. The East African country exported 74.6 million dollars worth of goods to the Northern American nation in the first quarter of this fiscal year.

With over 700 spaces in 169 countries worldwide, these spaces and corners across the globe are said to host more than 16 million visits every year.

PUBLISHED ON Nov 09,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 1019]

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