ETHIOPIA – Construction of the China-aided future headquarters of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) has commenced in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

H.E. Amira Elfadil Mohamed Elfadil, Commissioner for Social Affairs and H.E. Ambassador Yuxi Liu, Head of the Mission of the People’s Republic of China to Ethiopia, on behalf of the African Union Commission and the Government of China attended the groundbreaking and unveiling ceremony for project.

The event took place in the presence of representatives from the AU Commission, the Government of China, and the Government of Ethiopia.

The landmark project, covering an area of 90,000 square meters and with a total construction area of nearly 40,000 square meters, is expected to be completed within 25 months. It will be equipped with modern office buildings, high-end laboratories, and accessories.

Once completed, the future headquarters of the Africa CDC will be another landmark avenue to Ethiopia’s capital, which also hosts the China-aided AU headquarters, the tallest structure in Ethiopia so far.

Speaking on behalf of the African Union Commission Chairperson, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Commissioner Amira Elfadil thanked the Government of China for offering to construct the building and for their continuous support to the AU. She said the Department of Social Affairs worked with other AU departments and units to ensure speedy processing of all documents and approvals required to realize the project.

Commissioner Amira Elfadil said that the partnership between African Union (AU) and China is strategic and the AU is extending hands to all partners who are looking for mutual cooperation with Africa. The Commissioner for Social Affairs spoke about challenges in the acquisition of vaccines in Africa.

The Commissioner concluded her statement by assuring that the construction for the other Africa CDC five Regional Collaborating Centres located in Egypt, Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria, and Zambia, for the Northern Africa, Central Africa, Eastern Africa, Western Africa, and Southern Africa regions, respectively will commence in the near future.

H.E Mr. Qian Keming, Vice Minister of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China said that building the Africa CDC is a concrete action to follow through with commitments made at the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

“The ground breaking ceremony will take the project into a new stage. Hope this flagship project in China-Africa practical cooperation can benefit African people and become another shining example in China-Africa friendship,” Mr. Qian said.

Mr. Qian Keming concluded by emphasizing the commitment of China to the principle of pursuing shared benefits through consultation and collaboration with African Union towards the implementation of Agenda 2063.

“China and Africa supported each other and fight shoulder to shoulder. China got valuable supports from the African Union and African countries when it faced the hardest period” said Ambassador Yuxi.

“When the outbreak reached Africa, China sent medical expert teams to 16 African countries, built pair-up hospital cooperation with 42 African countries, offered urgent medical supplies to African Union and almost all African countries.”

The Ambassador underscored the commitment of China to implement the G20 Debt Relief Initiative.

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