A groundbreaking ceremony has been held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to commence the construction of a Beijing-funded Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) Headquarters building.
The event, which took place in the presence of representatives from the AU Commission, the Government of China, and the Government of Ethiopia further signifies China’s commitment to completing the project.
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, Xinhua Net reported.
H.E. Amira Elfadil Mohamed Elfadil, Commissioner for Social Affairs, spoke on behalf of the African Union Commission Chairperson, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat. Commissioner Amira Elfadil, in her statement, 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, an AU press report said.
According to the AU Press report, 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 groundbreaking 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 Keming concluded by emphasizing the commitment of China to the principle of pursuing shared benefits through consultation and collaboration with the African Union towards the implementation of Agenda 2063.
H.E. Ambassador Yuxi Liu, Head of the Mission of the People’s Republic of China to Ethiopia, at the ceremony, said “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…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 headquarters building is expected to become one of the best-equipped centers for disease control in Africa, allowing Africa CDC to play its role as the technical institution coordinating disease prevention, surveillance and control in the continent in partnership with the national public health institutes and ministries of health of Member States.”
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.
Can Africa’s cooperation with China in public health help improve the health situation of the continent?
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