The New Embassy Compound was officially inaugurated on July 8th. The Chargé d’Affaires, Todd Whatley, and the Under Secretary of State for Management, Patrick Kennedy, presided over the inauguration ceremony. The ribbon cutting took place in the presence of Benin’s Prime Minister, Lionel Zinsou, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Saliou Akadiri, and many other officials and diplomats.
“This beautiful building is a significant investment, and serves as a physical representation of the high regard, deep commitment, and lasting friendship of the United States toward the government and people of Benin,” said Under Secretary Kennedy in his welcoming remarks.
The Managing Director of the Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, Eric Rumpf, also described some of the “green” characteristics of the new building, designed with eco-friendly materials and construction features, such as low-energy lighting, an in-house water treatment plant in order to recycle water and reduce consumption, and solar panels which are expected to provide 21% of the compound’s energy needs.