Thanks to German support, 360 staff in the Department of Peace and Security of the African Union (AU) will soon be working in new premises. The foundation stone for a new AU office building was laid today (14 February) in Addis Ababa. Through this support the Federal Foreign Office is helping to strengthen the AU’s strategic management capacity in the field of conflict prevention and post-crisis rehabilitation.
The ceremony attended by AU Commission Chairperson Jean Ping as well as members of the German Bundestag’s Budget Committee marked the start of a new phase of the project, began in 2008. Construction work on the building, which will cost 26.5 million euro, is due to be completed in 2012. Under Federal Foreign Office auspices, the GIZ is building on the 13,500 square metres site offices and meeting rooms as well as a conference room for the AU’s Peace and Security Council, a situation room and a library.
The African Union has a wide-ranging mandate particularly in the field of peace and security. It is actively working to establish an African security architecture, an endeavour that has German and EU backing. With diplomatic and political missions as well as African peacekeepers and police officers, the continent has been assuming ever greater ownership of crisis prevention and management. To support Africa’s efforts to help itself, the Federal Foreign Office has likewise been contributing since 2008 to the G8 Africa initiative.