1 Deputy Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Antonio Pedro [AB1] signs the main contract for the renovation of the Africa Hall Project to improve its structural and technological facilities, to ensure that it meets international standards and conference facilities.
2 The renovation project will also see the creation of a visitor center and permanent exhibition to make Africa Hall one of Addis Ababa’s top destinations and highlight its important role in modern African history and culture.
3 As part of the preservation and restoration of the historical and cultural values rooted in its architecture.
4 “This renovation project is part of a broader campaign by the United Nations to modernize its facilities to improve technological endowment, update functionality and ensure uniformity in safety and security standards,” says the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Commission Economy for Africa (ECA), Antonio Pedro.
6 The Africa Hall Renovation Project will last 22 months and includes the complete renovation of the building, its fixtures, a new security building and visitor parking.
7 The ECA has established an office dedicated to managing the implementation of the project, which has an independent Advisory Board, a Stakeholders Committee and oversight from United Nations Headquarters.
8 The management is based on a participatory approach, seeking a broad and continuous consultation that involves both professionals and representative institutions of civil society.
9 Voluntary contributions from private, public and other stakeholders to improve and enrich the project are also welcome.
10 Donations can be in cash, such as that provided by the Government of Mali, or in kind, such as land donated by the host Government, a commemorative book promised by Italy, or documents or souvenirs related to Pan-Africanism.
11 The initial purpose of the building was to create a premier venue for African art and culture.
12 Throughout its life, “Africa Hall became a famous venue for Pan-African and African Renaissance events.
13 It is the birthplace of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which is now the African Union (AU), and whose founding Charter was signed in the Hall in 1963”, says the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Secretary ECA Executive Vera Songwe, reflecting on the importance of Africa Hall. This moment that has been immortalized by a 150 square meter stained glass work of art located in the lobby of the Hall, depicting the founding fathers of the OAU.
14 Since its inception more than fifty years ago, Africa Hall has been a living symbol of African history, unity and culture.
15 It also represents one of the most outstanding examples of African architectural heritage.
16 The Hall, which is the first of a collection of twenty buildings that make up the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) complex, was conceived and donated by the Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie, in the early 1960s.
17 one of the most outstanding examples of African architectural heritage.