The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) on Friday launched a project to make “Africa Hall” in Addis Ababa a “Monument to African History”.
The project was launched in connection with the 50th anniversary of ECA being commemorated with various activities in Addis Ababa, the headquarters of the ECA.
African Hall, located inside the ECA compound, was the venue of African leaders who gathered for the first time in 1958 to discuss the establishment of the Organization of African Union (OAU), which was officially established in 1963.
The OAU has been superseded by the African Union.
“The idea behind the African Hall historical project is to get the assistance of African and UNESCO member states to get the Africa Hall complex declared as being of historical and cultural value,” said Abdoulie Janneh, ECA executive secretary.
Addressing the celebration, he said the project also aims to mobilize support and resources for renovating and upgrading the building to include a museum and permanent standing exhibition related to historical events that have taken place there.
“We hope that ECA member states will contribute works of art from across the continent to adorn the Africa Hall exhibition,” he said.
He appealed to ambassadors based in Addis Ababa to garner support from their respective countries in support of the project.
Ethiopian President Girma Woldegirogisse, whose country was among the founding member states of the OAU, said Ethiopia would support the project.
African Union Commission chairman Jean Ping said Africa Hall is the venue where African leaders have met to take decisions that have shaped the history our continent and the lives of African generations, present, past and future.
“It is a place where they will, in all likelihood, continue to do so. This is a holy ground,” he said.
“This is our Mount Sinai. It reminds us of our pilgrimage, the road traveled so far and where we still have to go. It is an intersection of our past and future that vividly reminds us of the promise of mother Africa at independence and the challenges of development that confronts us in a rapidly changing world.”