Ethiopia’s first radio station, located in the Addis Ababa University (AAU) Journalism and Communication Campus will be demolished despite being registered as a historical heritage by the City Cultural Bureau.
AAU which is set to complete the biggest media center in the county at the cost of 813 million birr in the next three years said it has recorded the station with video and photos.
The radio station which was built 86 years ago was the only one in Ethiopia for 50 years. At one time it was used by the Ministry of Information before it was used by media students. The radio station also was a communication office for Italian soldiers during the second aggression and the place where the current government broadcast the live transmission of the down fall of the Derge regime.
The demolishing began a month ago. All the journalism and communication students were moved to the main campus, found in Six Kilo. So far SATCON Construction who is handling the project, demolished the back of the building which holds class rooms, a dormitory, libraries and offices.
The old station will be brought down in a few weeks.
Asemahagen Asres, Public Relations head of AAU told Capital that the cultural bureau didn’t inform the University until it was too late.
“We are an education center and we know the value of heritage and that is why we record all things in the radio station to tell to the current and future generations about the story of the places through photos and videos. The designed was done eight years ago and the cultural bureau did not say anything, they did tell us not to do it when we had already started the project but that is not right.”
The Addis Ababa Cultural and Tourism Bureau (AACTB) said the university is doing illegal things by planning to demolish historical heritages and they are ready to take legal action.
Dereje Seyum, AACTB heritage supervisor and inventory team leader said, “We went there to register the things in the old radio station but the university did not allow us to enter into the compound, what we would like to tell them is that the radio station is part of the new master plan and included as a historical heritage and we are ready to take another action with the support of our law enforcements.’’
The new nine story building is expected to be able to provide better room for research and quality education.