American Cultural Center in Maputo Closes After Decades of Community Engagement
November 24, 2021 – The American Cultural Center in Maputo officially closed today after nearly 28 years of meaningful outreach rooted in U.S. values to Mozambicans of all backgrounds. The Center, frequently referred to as the ACC, was for many Mozambicans their first opportunity to learn about U.S. history and culture, prepare to study in the United States, and interact with Americans.
“The ACC was a pillar of our public diplomacy initiatives and fostered the people-to-people ties that are fundamental to the foundation of our bilateral relationship,” said U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique Dennis W. Hearne. “American Spaces like the ACC allow us to connect with people and are important gathering spaces that promote learning and mutual understanding.”
The ACC, located on the corner of Mao Tse Tung and Kim Il Sung, officially opened in 1984 as a place to share information about the United States. In January 1993, its Information Resource Center, the Martin Luther King Jr. Library, opened, offering visitors access to more than 4,000 books in English and Portuguese, in addition to U.S. magazines, journals, newspapers, and film. The ACC also provided free access to the internet and computer programs, often the only place Mozambicans could utilize such services without a cost.
The ACC was a convening space that hosted a wide variety of audiences, from Mozambican government officials to members of Mozambican civil society; from artists and musicians to youth interested in learning English or participating in a U.S. government exchange program. It celebrated democracy through U.S. Election Night countdown events, highlighted the important contributions of African Americans during Black History Month, and served as a hub that maximized opportunities for Mozambicans and Americans to gather, share ideas, and truly get to know one another.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACC received about 250 visitors per week. It was home to popular programs such as English Club, provided TOEFL training and served as a testing center, and hosted myriad other clubs related to dance, music, film, and more. The EducationUSA Program, which advises Mozambicans about how to study in the U.S., was also based at the ACC.
The U.S. Embassy will resume important programs and services, in person and virtually, at the new U.S. Embassy on Avenida da Marginal and in new American Spaces throughout Mozambique in the coming months. Health and safety remain our top concerns as we plan the resumption of our activities, and many will remain virtual. For the latest updates on the status of our engagements, please follow us on social media; for more specific inquiries, please contact us at email@example.com.
Facebook: @USEmbassyMozambique | Instagram: @USEmbassyMozambique | Twitter: @USEmbassyMaputo
To watch a special farewell video to the ACC, visit our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mt7y8pyBoPg
For more information about this press release, please contact the U.S. Embassy Maputo Press Office at MaputoPress@state.gov.