A roof toping ceremony was held Tuesday August 7, for the new African Union Peace and Security Building. The building which is a donation by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany to the AU costs almost 27 million Euros. Roof topping is a German tradition dating back to the 14th century churches and cathedrals buildings.
“Today’s roof topping ceremony is meant to say thank you to all that have been working with great dedication, a lot of courage and skill,” stated El Ghassim Wane, Director of Peace and Security Department.
The ceremony takes place when the roof of a building structure is prepared to be covered. The ceremony is to also celebrate that no lives have been lost during the construction process.
“The new building is designed to improve working conditions for the AU-Peace and Security Council and for the Peace and Security Department of the Commission,” stated Irene Biontino, representative of the German Embassy.
Director of the Peace and Security Department, representatives from the German Embassy and 300 construction workers attended the ceremony. Spread across 13,500 square meters of floor space, the new Peace and Security building will include offices for 360 employees. It will provide a plenary hall for meetings, a situation and operation room and library. The building will also be home to the Continental Early Warning System, which will enable the council to monitor critical information on ongoing crises.
“This building is one of the financially and technically most demanding of German cooperation with the African Union. It is in the common interest of the international community and Germany to assist Africa in enhancing its own capacities to promote peace and stability on the continent,” stated Irene.
The building that used up 5,000 tons of cement and 1,300 tons of steel is said to have met international standards for environmental sustainability, incorporating climate-friendly and energy efficient technologies which will help lower the building maintenance cost.