“I am thrilled to welcome everyone to the brand-new American Shelf! The U.S. Embassy is proud of our longstanding relationship with the Dreams Hub, and it is an honor to take this partnership with Oscar, a 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow even further with the creation of this amazing new space. Oscar had a dream to create an incubator and tech space that the people of EG could use to enrich their minds, grow their ideas, and build a better community. This is why we are so happy to open the American Shelf in this already thriving space. Speaking of thriving, I see here in the audience some of the incredible Crystal Eggs and I look forward to talking to you later about all the things you have learned during your time here. American Spaces are an amazing way that we can engage with the communities all over the world. I remember my first time at an American Space in Accra, Ghana. Like Oscar, the founder of the NGO involved was a Mandela Washington Fellow alum. And like Dreams Hub, it was specifically a tech center where small business entrepreneurs could use offices and computers as platforms for growth. So clearly MWFs plus technology are a winning combination for a new American Space. The first time I visited, it was for an event marking the United Nations “16 Days of Action” against gender-based violence, bringing together young men and women to discuss strategies for putting an end to such practices. Everyone was so engaged and passionate about the issue! And we were very proud that the U.S. Embassy, through the American Space program, helped make it possible. That is why I am so excited to be here opening this American Shelf today! I can’t wait to come back and talk to different groups, learn new things about Equatoguinean culture, and share parts of American culture with all of you. Speaking of American culture – over on the tables we have a short quiz about American culture for you all. We have them in English and Spanish and you can show off how much you know about the United States and win a prize! We are also excited to launch the application process for the English-language program beginning in January called “Unlocking Opportunities with English.” Our partner, Vanesa Nokonoko, is here today, you can ask her more about the program.
Now without further ado, Oscar, let’s open the new American Shelf Malabo!”