Commander CJTF-HOA Lauds U.S., Comorian Relationship During School Dedication in Comoros
Comorian President Ahmed Abdallan Mohamed Sambi , U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Brian Losey, commander of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), U.S. Ambassador to the Comoros and Madagascar Niels Marquadt, and numerous Comorian government officials and CJTF-HOA personnel attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Hamramba school in Moroni, Comoros, May 15, 2010.
The ceremony marked the completion of a $500,000 project funded by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), providing eight classrooms and 10 latrines.
"Today's dedication represents the commitment and respect of our two nations towards the idea that education is a key to reaching our future goals and dreams," Losey said to an auditorium full of local Comorians and U.S. military members. "For many, many months now, the Comorian military and elements of the U.S. military have worked together, side-by-side, and have persevered and prevailed through many challenges to bring this school to fruition."
Students welcomed official guests with Comorian floral necklaces and sang in chorus the Comorian National Anthem.
"This school is certainly the privileged place for the education of our children," said Comorian President Sambi. "American cooperation in Comoros is both practical and effective. It can quickly exceed the administrative burdens that are dragging a number of projects. I can then say that we must, wherever possible, follow procedures that enable Americans to perform quickly and effectively."
U.S. Navy Mobile Construction Battalions began construction of the school in early 2008. "Side-by-side, with Comorian colleagues, I think you have a lot to be proud of here," said Ambassador Marquadt to the Seabees in the crowd. "People will remember you. You're leaving something permanent behind for the Comorian people that really responds to what they need, so thank you." After the ceremony, Losey, Marquadt and President Sambi were given a tour of the school facilities before talking over refreshments.
"As surely as the aspirations of the students of Hamramba School fill the classrooms, we will continue to build on an enduring, mutually beneficial partnership," said Losey. "To that end, I wish the Hamramba school and its students the very best for their futures."