Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fortress Waa-gaa-doo-goo

Way back when I first started working for DOS, when I heard someone say the name of the capitol of Burkina Faso I thought it was an in-joke, an exaggeratedly comic foreign-sounding place name. Something along the lines of "Flyspeckistan." But no, Ouagadougou ("Waa-gaa-doo-goo") is the real name of a real city. You can check the pronunciation here. I never got to travel there, but if I ever do, I will search high and low to find a T-shirt from some local university which I hope will read "Ouagadougou You."

But all that is of no importance. I'm posting this because U.S. Embassy Ouagadougou just cut the ribbon on a brand new Fortress Embassy:

U.S. Chargé d'Affaires to Burkina Faso, Samuel C. Laeuchli Patricia N. Moller; the Prime Minister of Burkina Faso, S.E.M. Tertius Zongo; and Acting Managing Director for Operations of the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, John Finnegan, Jr., participated in the official opening of the new embassy in Ouagadougou today.

The New Embassy Compound is the 69th facility constructed by the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations since the 1999 enactment of the Secure Embassy Construction and Counterterrorism Act. In the last 11 years, OBO has completed 72 new diplomatic facilities and has moved more than 21,000 people into safe, secure and functional facilities.

The multi-building complex occupies a 12-acre site and provides approximately 300 embassy U.S. direct hire and locally employed staff with over 9,200 net square meters of working space.

The construction contract was awarded to B.L. Harbert International, LLC on September 25, 2007 and a ground breaking ceremony was held on April 1, 2008. The facility was completed on September 25, 2009 and occupied on January 12, 2010. The project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget.

Have fun moving in to the new embassy. I hope it isn't too fortressy for you, and that the air conditioning works.

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