US Embassy in Addis Ababa partnering with gov’t for Jima Aba Jifar palace restoration project
News update published today by the United States Embassy in Addis Ababa indicates that the US is chipping in $125,000 for the restoration of Jimma Aba Jifar palace, a cultural heritage in South Western Ethiopia in what is now Oromia regional state.
The money is coming from “U.S. Ambassador’s fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP).”
Also,the source said that Ethiopian government (through Ethiopian Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (ARCCH) and Oromia regional state culture and tourism Bureau are spending US $220,000 towards the project.
Part of the fund from the US embassy will finance on-site museum and landscaping of one of Ethiopia’s historical structures from the 19th century, according to information from the US Embassy.
US Ambassador to Ethiopia, Mike Raynor, was in Jimma earlier today to launch the project.
- “As much as the rock-hewn churches of Gheralta and Lalibela, the walled city of Harar, the fortified settlements and terraces in Konso, and the castles of Gondar, the Aba Jiffar palace represents a history that made Ethiopia a country of incredible cultural diversity, and it reminds us that such diversity should be cherished as a source of shared pride,” Ambassador Mike remarked, as cited by the embassy, during the ceremony.
Jima Aba Jifar was one of the powerful regional lords in Southern Ethiopia in the 19th century who had his own small kingdom which later paid taxes to the central imperial government.
The restoration project represents, believes the US embassy, “a symbol of the ever-growing and true partnership between the United States and Ethiopia in heritage conservation.”
The US embassy was also involved in the preservation project of rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, which is currently facing the danger of collapse. The French government is reportedly stepping in to help rescue the 12th century UNESCO registered heritage following Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s lobby effort during his visit to Paris earlier this week.
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