HARARE – The new United States embassy being constructed in Bluffhill, Harare will have Great Zimbabwe architecture, according to embassy officials.
The new embassy, being constructed on 16,5 acres, has been described by US President Barack Obama’s representatives as a symbol of America’s commitment to Zimbabwe.
United States envoy to Zimbabwe, Harry Thomas Jnr, who committed himself to pulling more tourists to the “great nation” of Zimbabwe, said the $200 million embassy had also provided hundreds of jobs for locals.
“We believe in Zimbabwe and we believe in your future, so we are spending nearly $200 million to build a new embassy. We have hired 700 Zimbabweans already who are hard at work on the construction of this embassy, men and women, labourers and professionals,” Thomas said last week.
“We believe in the people and the future of Zimbabwe and when you look at the design of that embassy, what does it look like, Great Zimbabwe. That is the model of that embassy Great Zimbabwe and it’s a great nation, great people.
The Great Zimbabwe ruins are part of the country’s history and heritage, and viewed as the largest collection of ruins in Africa south of the Sahara.”
The design architect, AECOM, had gathered information on the cultural, historical, geological, political and architectural aspects. Thomas Jnr also said he was going to help draw high-end tourists to Zimbabwe, who were in the habit of leaving out the country during holiday trips.
Thomas said he was surprised that of the 55 000 Americans that had visited Zimbabwe in 2015,
50 000 had gone to Victoria Falls, connecting from other countries such as South Africa and Botswana.
“We would like to see more go to Hwange, to come to Harare, to go to Mutare, these are high-end tourists who are usually going to Cape Town or Botswana and they include Zimbabwe, and I had no idea. I have got to work harder to try and encourage them to come to other parts of this beautiful country,” Thomas said.
He said Americans had a misconception about the country and therefore needed to be educated further.
“I think we need to educate them on Zimbabwe, well we (Americans) are not good in geography. I was just home for a couple of weeks, there we were surprised about everything. First it was hot and I had to go to an outdoor event and they said hey, you have got to be comfortable you’re coming from Zimbabwe, I’m like Zimbabwe is cool and I showed them the pictures thanks to you all, when they had the hailstorm and it froze, they couldn’t believe it, freezing in Africa.”