The Col. John C. Robinson American Corner at St. Mary’s University (SMU) in Addis Ababa has been officially reopened by the U.S. Embassy near Mexico Square. It had been closed for public engagements and services due to the Covid-19 restrictions initiated in 2020.
The formal inauguration saw Ambassador Tracey Jacobson, the Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, collaborating with Dr. Wondwosen Tamrat, the President of St. Mary’s University. During the event, Ambassador Jacobson emphasized the American Corner’s role as a testament to the enduring American commitment to Ethiopian youth. She highlighted that engaging with American Corners often paves the way for students who aim to pursue their studies in the U.S. Furthermore, numerous beneficial programs like Education USA resources, counseling, English language initiatives, practical skills like STEM and Maker Space Tools are freely accessible to the public at all American Corners across Ethiopia. Ambassador Jacobson also praised the sustained collaboration with St. Mary’s University, noting the institution’s role as a host for the Embassy’s English Language ACCESS program.
This significant Corner is dedicated to Col. John C. Robinson, a prominent African-American pilot. Col. Robinson was designated the Commander of the Ethiopian Air Force by Emperor Haile Selassie and played a pivotal role in its establishment during the Italian-Ethiopian War in 1935. Additionally, he contributed to the foundation of Ethiopian Airlines. Remarkably, one of the Ethiopian Airlines’ Boeing aircraft is named to commemorate his legacy.
Presently, the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa oversees American Corners in various Ethiopian cities, including Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar, Jimma, and Dire Dawa. However, the American Corner in Mekelle remains non-operational.