African Union to open Chinese-funded New HQ in Ethiopia

The African Union is due to inaugurate its newly built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

The entire $200m (£127m) project was funded by China as a gift to the AU, as Beijing continues to strengthen its influence in Africa.

The 100m high tower overlooks a vast conference centre where African heads of state are expected to meet for years to come.

Their first AU summit in the building will take place on the weekend.

China’s most senior political adviser, Jia Qinglin, will attend the opening of the new headquarters and will address African leaders at the start of their assembly on Sunday.

The new AU building dominates the skyline of Addis Ababa and is the city’s tallest building.

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Most of the materials used were imported from China and even the furnishings were paid for by Beijing, AFP news agency reports.

Construction began in January 2009 and involved 1,200 Chinese and Ethiopian workers.

Africa Union HQ
The new AU headquarters is seen as a symbol of China's new role in Africa

The project co-ordinator, Fantalum Michael, says the new building signifies China’s growing friendship with Africa.

“It’s a testimony that this relationship will continue in the future,” he told AFP.

Thriving relationship

Trade between China and Africa has increased more than six-fold during the past decade to $120bn (£76bn) in 2011.

China is interested in Africa’s natural resources and in return is investing huge sums in African infrastructure.

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Roads are being built by Chinese firms at a staggering rate, says the BBC’s Will Ross in Addis Ababa.

While other rich nations impose conditions before aid is given, China’s relationship with African countries is strictly a business one, he says.

Human rights groups have criticised China for undermining efforts by western countries to link aid to improvements in governance.

However African leaders have welcomed the Chinese approach and have embraced investment from Beijing.

In Ethiopia, many jobs have been created through Chinese-funded projects.

Chinese cars are being made in Ethiopian factories and China is also building a light railway across Addis Ababa.

Source: BBC

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2 Comments

  1. In AU there are 54 countries (according to Wikipedia). China funded a building that costed $200 mil. If you take $200 mil. and divide it to 54, it is $3.7 mil. per country. Now any African country could afford that amount of cash but instead of doing such thing, they let a rich country donate a building to them. No matter which country the building is built in, I say SHAME ON ALL COUNTRIES THAT ARE MEMBER OF THE AU. Beggars!

  2. China is really showing us power and influence, they’ve already built us our first headquarters, soon they’ll be influencing their policies indirectly through the AU, they shall defend our ICC criminals who enjoy killing us to hold on to power. We shall have first world infrastructure but third world governing mentality.

    Is Africa really progressing??

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