Sunday, January 29, 2012

African Union Gets Majestic Complex From Chinese Government

African Union gets majestic complex from Chinese governmnent

Saturday, 28 January 2012 19:54
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail

The new African Union headquarters built by the Chinese. - Pic from
Munyaradzi Huni in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
President Mugabe yesterday joined other African heads of state and government to witness the official opening of the new multi-million-dollar African Union Conference Centre and Office Complex which was built by the Chinese government.

China has pledged to strengthen its “sincere and win-win” partnership with Africa and commit 600 million yuan (about US$86 million) towards the maintenance of the majestic building that is about 99,5 metres high.

Speaking at the handover of the building to the African Union Commission, the Chinese government representative, Mr Jia Qinlin, the chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said the building was a milestone in the history of the China and
Africa relationship.

He said the decision to build the conference centre and the office complex was announced by the Chinese president in 2006 and construction of the building started in 2009.

“This building is a symbol of the deepening of relations between China and Africa. In the 21st century, the China-Africa relations should be strengthened so that we meet the challenges ahead together.

“China attaches great importance to the trade and economic trade with Africa and I am proud to announce that China has 13 billion of investment stock in Africa at the moment.

“We will continue to strengthen our sincere and win-win partnership with Africa so that we conquer the challenges ahead together,” said the representative to wild applause from the delegates.

The chairperson of the African Union, Mr Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, thanked the Ethiopian government for availing land to build the conference centre and the Chinese government for the construction of the building.

He said the building was a reflection of a new era in Africa, adding that co-operation with China was set to increase.

“For years Africa has remained a tenant in its own land, but now thanks to China we have our own headquarters. China has shown its commitment to Africa and its people. It’s clear that Africa can count on China’s support that doesn't come with conditions.

“This is because of our shared values and common history,” he said. He challenged Africa, especially the African Union Commission, to make sure that the building was well maintained, adding that member states will have to chip in with financial support for the maintenance of the conference centre and complex.

The official opening of the 18th AU Summit is set for today. Issues expected to take centre stage include the election of the chairman of the AUC, which is being contested by current chairman Jean Ping and South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

The summit will also, among other issues, deliberate on issues to do with the political tension between Sudan and South Sudan, the deteriorating situation in Libya and the situation in Somalia. Civic groups from Zimbabwe, that descended on Addis Ababa hoping to tarnish the image of the country, were largely ignored as they were not allowed anywhere near the venue of the summit.

No comments: