The African Union (AU) on Monday praised China for its continuous support of public health in Africa.
A special site at the southern peripheral of Addis Ababa on Monday saw the arrival of officials from the AU and the Ethiopian government, and diplomats from the Chinese mission to the AU.
The site, which covers an area of 90,000 square meters, is designated to the much-needed Africa Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Africa CDC). With help from China, the construction of the CDC headquarters will soon begin.
This project is part of the commitment China made last year to the African people.
During the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing last September, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that China has decided to upgrade 50 medical and health aid programs for Africa, particularly flagship projects such as the headquarters of the Africa CDC.
Given that the CDC headquarters were scheduled to start construction by 2020, the AU will work closely with the Ethiopia government to finish the preparations by the end of this year, said Amira Elfadil, the AU commissioner for Social Affairs on Monday.
The Chinese government will help the AU and Ethiopia with the project’s design and construction, and will further provide help in essential equipment, which are followed by personnel training, and operational and technical assistance from China once the construction completes.
The layout of the CDC includes at least one emergency response center, an information center, laboratories, a library, a press conference room, a training center as well as offices and expert apartments, emerging to be the best facility for disease control and prevention in Africa.
Elfadil praised the Chinese people for their support of Africa’s healthcare development, noting that China has continued to send medical experts here, including their CDC personnel.
Her remarks were echoed by head of the Chinese mission Liu Yuxi who said that China has strived to help the Democratic Republic of Congo in combatting the Ebola outbreak via humanitarian assistance.
China and Africa are good brothers, friends, and partners, Liu said, noting that the CDC headquarters will soon be a new landmark of this partnership.
Tesfaye Yilma, the Ethiopian ambassador to the bloc, said that the CDC headquarters is yet another example of the concrete partnership between China and Africa.
He added that the Chinese have already carried out many construction projects, among which the AU headquarters illustrates their close bilateral relations.