The completion of the first phase of the headquarters of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) has been marked by a topping out ceremony today in Addis Ababa.
H.E. Amira Elfadil Mohamed, Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development (HHS), and H.E. Ambassador LIU Yuxi, Head of the Mission of the People’s Republic of China to Ethiopia attended the ceremony on behalf of the African Union Commission and the Government of the People’s Republic of China respectively.
Speaking at the ceremony Commissioner Elfadil said the completion of the first phase marks 45 percent of the total construction. “While celebrating our success in reaching 45% of total project completion within an impressive record of 348 days, the African Union would like to express its sincere appreciation to the Government of the People Republic of China for funding of the whole project, and to all the stakeholders who have played their respective roles and tirelessly assisted the team in achieving its target”, she said.
In his remarks, H.E. Amb. Liu Yuxi, underlined the close China-Africa partnership. “As we speak, the COVID-19 pandemic is still wreaking havoc across the globe. However, it cannot prevent China-Africa cooperation from growing in depth and substance. China and Africa stand together with mutual assistance, team up amid difficulties, and treat each other wholeheartedly.
He announced that since the outbreak of the pandemic, the Chinese government has donated a large number of supplies, including protective equipment, ventilators, and vaccines to African countries. He further added when attending the General Debate of the 76th Session of The United Nations General Assembly, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Development Initiative, calling on the international community to accelerate the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, so as to build a global community of developers with a shared future. In addition, China and Africa jointly launched the Initiative on Partnership for Africa’s Development this year, emphasizing that all countries should carry out cooperation with Africa on the premise of respecting Africa’s sovereignty and listening to Africa’s voice, give full play to their respective advantages and pool efforts in an effective way, and do more beneficial and practical work for the well-being of the African people.
The ambassador concluded by saying “The Africa CDC building itself is a manifestation of beneficial and practical work for the African people. China will proceed to try its utmost to assist African countries in responding to the pandemic and restoring economic and social development.”
About Africa (CDC) Headquarters Project:
At the 2018 Beijing Summit and the 7th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China – Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in Beijing, the Government of China further expressed its commitment to support the building of the Africa CDC HQ. African leaders welcomed this with appreciation and committed to supporting the realization of the project.
Located in the African Village, south of Addis Ababa, the new site covers an area of 90,000m2 with a total construction area of nearly 40,000m2. When completed the building will include an emergency operation center, a data center, a laboratory, a resource center, briefing rooms, a training center, a conference center, offices, and expatriate apartments, all to be constructed, furnished, and equipped by the Government of China.
In accordance with a number of agreements concluded between the AU and the Government of China, the AU Commission and the Ministry of Commerce of the People`s Republic of China signed the Implementation Agreement on the Africa CDC HQ’s building project in July 2020.
The headquarters building is expected to become one of the best-equipped centers for disease control in Africa, allowing the 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.