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Addis Ababa, 12 October 2016: The Commission of the African Union (AU) inaugurated, yesterday, 11 October 2016, its new ‘’Julius Nyerere Peace and Security Building’’, at the AU Headquarters, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Julius Nyerere Peace and Security building, which was named after one of the foremost Pan Africanists and peace-builders, was funded by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, at a cost of about 31 million Euros. Meeting international design standards for environmental sustainability, this building increases the work space of the Peace and Security Department (PSD), enabling it to accommodate up to 360 employees.

The inauguration ceremony was graced by the presence of the German Chancellor H.E. Dr. Angela Merkel, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn, the African Union Commission Chairperson H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, and the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui. A delegation from Germany, the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), representatives of AU Member States and other diplomatic corps, AU staff and other guests were also in attendance. Both the AUC Chairperson and the German Chancellor addressed the inauguration ceremony; both lauded the close cooperation that exists between the AU and Germany in implementing the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA).

The Chancellor, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia and the AUC Chairperson cut the ribbon to inaugurate the building and unveiled the inauguration stand, in the presence of the Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and other guests.

In his welcoming Remarks, Ambassador Smail Chergui, said that this building will further enhance the AU’s capabilities in the discharge of its mandate in promoting peace, security and stability in Africa.  ‘’We consider this gesture of Germany as a demonstration of their friendship that will continue to grow as we endeavor to ensure a stable and peaceful Africa which will in turn contribute to the peace and stability of the world’’, he stated.

On her part, the AUC Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, said the new building is a symbol of German/Africa cooperation in strengthening their ties for peace.  ‘’Today will be remembered as an important date to our organization. This building will encourage us indeed to Silence the Guns and to strive for a more peaceful Africa where we can work on development, fighting poverty and getting Africa to be a prosperous, peaceful, integrated continent’’, she noted. ‘’The donation of the Julius Nyerere Peace and Security Building is a visible token of the spirit of solidarity and cooperation between Germany and the African Union’’, she further stated.

In her address, Chancellor Merkel stressed the ever-growing role of the AU in preserving peace and security in Africa, highlighting the importance of “modern” and “solidly constructed” building that is energy efficient and environmentally friendly. “This building will enhance the capabilities of the AU to better exercise its peace and security mandate throughout the continent,’’ she said. The Chancellor underlined that the building is embodiment to a commitment of more peace in Africa.

The new building hosts the AU Peace and Security Department, and provides a base for the operation of the continental early warning system and the coordination of AU- led peace support operations.

-End-

Posted by Abraham Kebede
Last updated by Limi Mohammed

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