As the Covid-19 cases continue to surge throughout Africa, President XiJinping of the Republic of China, in the recent China-Africa summit held on the June 18, 2020 purported the construction of the new Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He remarked that “China will start ahead of schedule the construction of the Africa CDC headquarters this year”.
“The new Africa CDC will play a major role in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic across Africa and China will continue to do whatever it can to support Africa’s response to the virus,” he also remarked. After a series of consultations that commenced in 2015, the African Union Commission and the Government of China, signed an Exchange of Letters of Agreement for the construction of the headquarters building of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) on the 24th of June 2019.
The headquarters building will be built in a Village, south of Addis Ababa, on a site that covers an area of approximately 90,000 square meters. The construction area alone will rest on nearly 40,000 square meters.T he facility, upon completion, will hold a fully furnished operation center, a data center, a laboratory, a resource center, briefing rooms, a training center, a conference center, offices, and expatriate apartments.
However, it’s important to note that the construction of this center has been met with a plethora of global attention and discourse. Critics point to the 2017 controversy when it was discovered that the Asian giant manipulated the AU Commission’s computer system to transmit internal AU communications directly to Beijing, after building the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa in 2012, Africa Feeds reported.
In a report, South Africa has been urged to use its clout to stop the African Union Commission pushing ahead with its plans to allow China to build a new $80bn headquarters building for the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) in Addis Ababa – without AU member states’ official approval.
In another report, some countries believe that Morocco, which is also bidding to host the centre, is better equipped technically to support it than Ethiopia.