Ambassador Dennis W. Hearne’s Speech at the U.S. Embassy Inauguration Ceremony
September 30, 2021
His Excellency Minister Ernesto Max Tonela,
His Excellency the Secretary of State of Maputo City,
His Excellency the Governor of the Province of Maputo,
Officials of the Government of Mozambique,
Director Tracy Thomas of the Department of State’s Overseas Building Operations Bureau,
Distinguished guests from the private sector, civil society, the media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is with great honor that I welcome you to the new embassy of the United States of America in the Republic of Mozambique.
Today we are making history. As we inaugurate this beautiful building, we recognize the enduring nature of our bilateral relationship. The United States Embassy to Mozambique opened in 1975, the year of Mozambique’s independence. And over the past four decades, our friendship with the Mozambican people and government has expanded into a dynamic, multi-faceted relationship.
This new Embassy building is a concrete example of the importance of the United States government’s work in Mozambique, and how important Mozambique’s success is for the region and for the world. To our partners in the Mozambican government: We have worked closely together over the course of my tenure as U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique. Every year, we stand side-by-side to recommit to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Mozambique. We stood together as the world responded to the aftermath of devastating cyclones in the center and north of the country. And we stand together today, on this spectacular new campus, as a testament to the growing partnership between our two nations, and friendship between our two peoples.
For years, USAID and CDC have been dedicated to improving the health and safety of Mozambicans nationwide. Our enduring partnership with health care workers and policymakers proved crucial during Mozambique’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. From contact tracing and public messaging programs, to providing PPE, ventilators, and oxygen machines, to donating nearly 640,000 single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines, we have showed up for Mozambique. The fact that we built this new embassy during and despite the pandemic demonstrates the resilience of both our countries and our strong relationship.
But our relationship does not stop there. Our development programs span the gamut – from helping children learn to read, to improving farmers’ incomes, to protecting Mozambique’s incredible biodiversity, and much more. We are in the midst of developing a second Millennium Challenge Corporation compact that will substantially improve the agriculture and transportation sector. Our training programs for emerging and established civil society organizations have supported local efforts to consolidate Mozambique’s democracy. And our commitment to combatting terrorism and the resulting humanitarian crisis in Cabo Delgado is unwavering. The Mozambicans American-trained commandos and fuzileiros are making a difference on the battlefield, a testament to what is possible when we work together.
Ladies and gentlemen, from conception to design to construction, this U.S. Embassy building has paid homage to Mozambican culture and reflects our clear commitment to sustainability.
The Embassy is uniquely wrapped with concrete fins, inspired by the Makonde statues that represent Mozambique around the world. Our outdoor spaces reflect the flatlands, lush forests, and hilly dunes that are part of Mozambique’s diverse topography. And as you will soon see, the artistry inside this building is awe-inspiring. Here with us today are American artist Alice Hope and Mozambican artist Gonçalo Mabunda, whose pieces anchor the collection in showing the commonality between our two vibrant cultures.
I hope you all feel welcomed and moved as you explore this new United States Embassy building in Maputo, Mozambique. May our partnership and friendship continue to grow and flourish and more than ever, estamos juntos.
Thank you very much.