New hub for US embassy

State of the art construction

19 September 2019 | Infrastructure

Windhoekers who often drive along Robert Mugabe Avenue will have seen that there’s much work going on at the erf on the corner of Metje Street.
On this six hectare property, the American Embassy will soon begin work on what will house many of their departments and agencies, including the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the President's Emergency HIV / AIDS Relief Plan (Pepfar), the International Development Agency (USAid) and the Department of Defense (DOD).
The property was bought for around N$200 million from the well-known Metje family trust.
According to a media assistant of the US Embassy’s public affairs department, Jacques du Toit, the new embassy will be the US’s ultra-modern hub for diplomatic relations, programs and public engagement. “The expanded consular office will improve services for both Namibians and Americans, so travelling to the US will now be much easier,” Du Toit told Francoise Steynberg of our sister publication, Republikein.

Design
According to Du Toit, construction is set to start by mid-2020 and should be complete by the end of 2023. “The new embassy is designed to meet the highest standards of sustainability and energy consumption, and will boast a combination of American and Namibian design elements,” he said.
Du Toit said that the site would reflect the indigenous vegetation of the city, while protected plant species would be moved on site or donated to the Botanical Society of Namibia.
As to why a US architectural firm is being used for the new design, Du Toit said that like all new US embassies in foreign territories, the embassy in Namibia is designed by a US firm but would mostly use local contractors.
Du Toit said that around 100 Namibian contractors attended a meeting held by the embassy in July. “The construction phase will contribute millions of dollars to the local economy and provide jobs to hundreds of Namibians,” he said.
The US ambassador to Namibia, Lisa Johnson, said that “the new embassy will serve as a platform for the United States to work together, prosper and grow with Namibia in the long run”.

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