Prefect of Damerjog, Damerjog School Director, community members, and distinguished guests,
It is with great pleasure that I join you today in the inaguration of this new library in Damerjog. It is an excellent an example of the United States and Djibouti working side by side, supporting education and employment, and investing in the next generation. The school was built by a Djiboutian construction company with Djiboutian labor. It was funded by AFRICOM through a U.S. Department of Defense humanitarian assistance program. This library is one of three libraries that was completed during the COVID-19 pandemic and the first of those libraries that we will inaugurate in the coming weeks. This library represents the partnership between Djibouti and the United States and our committment to the education of Djiboutian citizens and their children. The delay in completing this project was a small effect of COVID-19, though today we must acknowledge that COVID-19 continues to bring great pain and suffering to many people here and around the world. In these challenging times, we must look for symbols of hope, such as this effort.
Libraries represent hope for me, intellectual and economic hope. I have always loved libraries. I loved having different topics to choose and a quiet place to read. The first place I had a summer job was the library in my hometown. I hope this library provides a similar sanctuary for the Damerjog community. I’m proud the United States could cooperate with Djibouti to make this a reality for you all.