BY NAL newswire
As China welcomes the Year of the Dragon to celebrate its traditional new year, far from its shore, the world’s newest super power nation scores a major diplomatic point with the opening of the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Standing at 100 meter height and overseeing Ethiopia capital city, the new African Union Conference Centre, which construction started three years ago costs 1billion Chinese Yuan ($200 million) and was entirely funded by China.
Symbolically, golden statue of foremost promoter of pan-Africanism Kwame Nkrumah was unveiled and the foundation stone for the African Union Human Rights Memorial laid amidst modest cultural ceremony.
“Our dream came true and we are now overlooking a modern architectural jewel symbolising the historical relations between China and our continent” said Dr Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC).
China’s President representative Jia Qinglin, Chairperson of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) affirms the Chinese government interest in supporting and strengthening its relationship with Africa.
According to Qinglin, China presently has 2000 registered companies in different regions of the continent, and investment valued at $150 billion.
Some experts have claimed that the quest for a secure market for industrial raw resources and finished goods to satisfy China’s economic appetite is the sole reason for the once Communist State super-philanthropic gestures across Africa, and not necessarily to promote genuine development nor to advance human rights in the troubled continent.
“Many people think that China is just emerging on the scene to work with Africa,” says Erastus Mwencha, deputy Chairperson AUC. “China has been a friend of Africa from a long time. China worked with Africa to eliminate apartheid, colonialism and the support for Africa during the struggle for Independent.”
The African Union (AU), formerly known as the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was established in 2002 with a vision for an “integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena.”