U.S. Ambassador Daniel L. Foote Launches and Hands Over New Lecture Hall to the University of Zambia

Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Daniel L. Foote
Launch and Handover of the New Lecture Hall
University of Zambia, College of Medical Sciences, School of Public Health
Ridgeway Campus
January 31, 2019

(as prepared for delivery)

Ministry of Higher Education Permanent Secretary Mabvuto Sakala
University of Zambia Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Enala Tembo Mwase
University of Zambia Dean School of Public Health Professor Charles Michelo
Students, ladies, and gentlemen
All other protocols observed

It is my honor to join you today for the inauguration of this state of the art lecture theater.  Through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Defense (DOD), and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the U.S. government is proud to have supported this project.

The new lecture hall, valued at nearly $1 million with a seating capacity of 350 people, is not just an architectural marvel.  It also represents the American people’s commitment to a healthier future for all Zambians.  The United States shares the Zambian people’s belief that high quality education and human resource development can create extraordinary opportunities.

The need for conducive space and infrastructure for teaching students of medical sciences generated the demand for this lecture hall.  The power of science and real-world experience is key for students to learn about the strong evidence base we now have, which will provide the vital information to battle deadly infectious diseases.  Building the capacity of academic and government institutions enables the proper training and staff retention for better analysis, interpretation, and data utilization.  The U.S. government investment in this lecture hall will enhance the visibility of the University of Zambia’s School of Public Health and contribute to training programs that help to strengthen and guide public health programs.

Beyond the construction of this state of the art lecture theater, the U.S. CDC and PEPFAR have been working with the University of Zambia’s Department of Public Health for over ten years to strengthen the quality and scope of the Master of Public Health degree program.  The goal of our partnership is to increase the number of trained public health professionals in Zambia who are capable of effectively tackling the challenges of HIV infection.  A pool of highly trained public health professionals is a key national resource for the country to manage any epidemic.

As I conclude, I would like to thank:

  • The consultant, Mchisha, for meeting design requirements and providing guidance during construction;
  • The contractor, Dramoll Limited, for its dedication to work and adherence to specifications; and
  • The University of Zambia staff for their dedication and technical assistance towards the successful completion of this lecture theater complex.

I congratulate the Ministry of Higher Education for its continued leadership in providing quality education to learners.  I am optimistic that the students and faculty will utilize this facility well and the students will graduate to be remarkable medical practitioners, professionals whom Zambia requires to ensure it can attain its goal of creating and maintaining a healthy nation.

Thank you.