Addis Ababa April 14/2018 Ethiopia and Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) have signed yesterday a 57-million-USD agreement to pave way for renovation and modernization of the iconic Africa Hall, the birthplace of the Organization of African Unity (OAU).
ECA Executive Secretary Vera Songwe and Foreign Affairs State Minister Hirut Zemene signed the renovation agreement that will see the modernization of the halls and facilities with international standards.
A press release of ECA quoted Songwe as saying that the renovation would bring state-of the art technology to Africa Hall and insure it serves more African citizens than before.
"This is not just about signing a piece of paper, it's a continuation of the history that the United Nations family has with the government of Ethiopia, that the continent of Africa has with Ethiopia," she added.
The Executive Secretary thanked the government of Ethiopia and the UN staff for working tirelessly to insure repairs to transform Africa Hall into a rejuvenated structure by preserving and restoring historical and cultural values embedded in its architecture.
Foreign Affairs State Minister Hirut Zemene said on her part Ethiopia will work with UNECA to insure the project is delivered on time, adding that the project will encourage African youth to learn more about their history, especially the decision by pan-African leaders to work together and speak as one with the formation of OAU.
"I would like to pay give special tribute to our leader Emperor Haileselassie for being conscious of the importance of coming together as a continent back then."
The African Hall was built between 1959 and 1961 and inaugurated by Emperor Haileselassie on 26th February 1961.
The renovation project is expected to be completed by 2021.