By Vanessa Rozier Toscano
Embassy Maputo formally dedicated its new, state-of-the-art embassy campus with representatives from the Mozambican government, political parties, civil society, the private sector, academia, and the media, Sept. 30. The event signaled the multi-faceted relationship between the United States and Mozambique.
“Today we are making history. As we inaugurate this beautiful building, we recognize the enduring and ever stronger nature of our bilateral relationship,” said Ambassador Dennis W. Hearne during the dedication ceremony. “This new embassy building is a concrete example of the importance of the United States government’s work in Mozambique, and of our support for Mozambique’s success here in the region and in the world.”
Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) Managing Director for Construction, Facility, and Security Management Tracy Thomas, and Mozambican Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Ernesto Max Elias Tonela also delivered remarks at the ceremony. Mission Mozambique thanked OBO for its tremendous work; OBO completed the new construction project with just one year’s delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This embassy is an extremely modern campus that visibly represents the United States—who we are, what we stand for—but more importantly, it represents our enduring commitment to the people of Mozambique and her neighbors,” said Thomas.
Tonela said the embassy building is “a political and diplomatic symbol of the partnership that we have been expanding with the United States,” citing American support to counter terrorist attacks in Mozambique and assistance—including the donation of nearly 640,000 COVID-19 vaccines—to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.
The campus is located on a 10-acre site along the Indian Ocean and models the latest energy efficient features. The new embassy recycles its air every 15 minutes and has its own irrigation system. The ultra-high-performance concrete fins encircling the embassy are reminiscent of the wood carvings of the Makonde people in northern Mozambique, and the fins provide enough shade to reduce the amount of energy needed to keep the building cool.
Curated by the Office of Art in Embassies, the permanent art collection installed in the new embassy includes artwork by a range of American and Mozambican artists. The collection showcases pieces that give found objects a new meaning and reminds visitors of the need to protect the environment.
Vanessa Rozier Toscano is a public affairs officer at Embassy Maputo.