A cultural and tourism center is being constructed at the premises of the Ethiopian Embassy in New Delhi, India, reportedly the first of its kind for an African embassy in the country.
Countries from North America such as the United States and from Europe like Russia and Italy have cultural centers already in place.
Apart from introducing the rich cultural heritage and tourism opportunities in Ethiopia, it is also expected to be the center of functions for various associations formed by African diplomats and their spouses as well as students and will host the Pan- African day celebrations by catering to the participants in traditional dresses while also serving a promotional purpose for various African countries.
The structure will be built in such a way that it can be dismantled easily and made into a much more bigger structure when and if the need arises.
Metasebia Tadesse, Minister Counselor at the Embassy, said the Center is being established with a partner company called Stic PLC, which is also an agent for the National air carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, in India.
All costs for this project are fully covered by Stic PLC. Construction began on February, 2012 with the laying of the foundation stone by the State Minister of Culture and Tourism Tadelech Dalecho, who was in India to participate in the South Asian Tourism Promotion Conference as part of a drive to promote Ethiopian tourism for potential Indian tourists.
“The construction work for the Centre has reached the 90- percent plus stage” said Metasebia, adding that he believes all work to be completed by next month. The Centre is expected to be officially inaugurated in December, when MinisterTadelech is expected to attend another summit there.
A big tourism promotion hall will be part of the Center, where it will showcase attraction sites of Ethiopia with models, pictures, descriptions and so on while in another room there will be displays of various artifacts of the numerous nations and nationalities of Ethiopia.
The Centre is also expected to reserve a big room where there will be, on permanent display, Ethiopian national dishes such as “Injera” (a pancake-like bread) and a traditional spicy stew called “wot”, which many a diplomat and tourist had enjoyed at one time or another, and will be introduced to the Indians (who have similar spiced dishes) and anyone else who is interested in experiencing its unique taste.
Metasebia also indicated that there will be an art gallery depicting the various paintings of well known Ethiopian artists showcasing Ethiopian culture and way of life, while the roofs will be of the thatched kind to reflect the Ethiopian traditional rural house style.