On September 15, the American Center in Madagascar was officially inaugurated in a ceremony co-chaired by the President of Madagascar Hery Rajaonarimampianina and U.S. Ambassador Robert Yamate. Representatives of the Malagasy government, the diplomatic corps, civil society, business leaders and hundreds of guests were in attendance. Ambassador Yamate said in his keynote address: “Together, we have created one of the largest American-focused cultural centers in all of the African and Indian Ocean region, and certainly a first in terms of this type of partnership. I am pleased to note that in Madagascar, we have together created a model that will be honed and that will be replicated throughout the world.”
Located at the Smart shopping mall in Tanjombato, the new American Center is a 1,200 square-meter innovative public-private space that includes an exhibition space, a 200 seat auditorium, a computer-training center, six classrooms for English and business classes, an American Corner, and an American-style coffee shop. The center aims to help Malagasy people have a better understanding of American society, history, policies, culture and politics, and thereby to strengthen American-Malagasy bonds of friendship.
The American Center is a collaborative effort of the U.S. Embassy and the American Center association whose members include the English Teaching Program (ETP), the American Chamber of Commerce of Madagascar, Microsoft, the youth association Liberty 32, United States Graduates Association (USGA) and In Square coffee shop. This week-long celebration is marked by the involvement of all the members of the American Center association showcasing their respective activities in a series of events held in the new building.