Remarks by Ambassador David Gilmour
Opening of the new American Corner Building at the University of Lomé
November 8, 2017
Madam the Vice-President of the University of Lomé
Ladies and gentlemen
I am delighted to join you for this wonderful occasion. Allow me to offer some very important thanks to those who have made this partnership possible. First, I wish to thank the President of the University and his entire staff for their work organizing this ceremony and for all the work they do in support of the American Space program. Second, thanks to the American Corner Fan Club members for their time and dedication to this inauguration’s success. I also want to thank our various partners on this campus. We are grateful for your commitment to advance the vision of the American Spaces program.
This redesigned and upgraded American Corner will be a part of that vision. It will be a reference point on the campus for the free exchange of ideas, where students can nourish and develop their talents, and where connections with the U.S. and the rest of the world will only be a click of the computer mouse away. It is designed to be a library, a cyber café, a performance space, a language learning facility, and much more.
Today, even as we imagine the future possibilities of this newly redesigned American Corner represents, we can also take time to celebrate the impact that the American Corner has already had. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the American Corner on the campus of the University of Lome. And among us this morning are young people and young women who have taken full advantage of the opportunities this space offered. Today we are very proud of them because they are accomplished leaders in their communities and some have become prominent professors at this same university and elsewhere. Allow me to honor our friends Dr. Cal Avono, Dr. Emmanuel Ahondo, Dr. Hova Mevi, Ms. Nadege Afoutou, Ms. Grace Kudzo and many others who have seen their lives and careers transformed by this American space and who today come back to give to other young people.
For 10 years we have tried to make the American Corner a space where young people can flourish and achieve their potential. I am pleased that the renovations we have made will enable us to continue this mission with even greater energy and impact than before.
It is our hope that the inauguration of the new American Corner will mark an important milestone in the strong relationship between the U.S. Embassy and the university of Lomé, and between the American people and the people of Togo.