A new headquarters for the African Union has just opened in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. The $200 million USD project, funded wholly by the Chinese government (office furnishings included), was constructed on the former grounds of Ethiopia’s oldest maximum security prison.
Attending heads of state spoke glowingly of the relationship between Africa and China:
“The future prospects of our partnership are even brighter. China, its amazing re-emergence and its commitments for a win-win partnership with Africa, is one of the reasons for the beginning of the African renaissance,” Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said Saturday at the new headquarters’ multi-storey amphitheatre.
The new African Union headquarters is considered to be the most visible and tangible proof of the entwined nature of China and Africa’s political relationship, at a time when the safety of China’s workforce in Africa is coming under scrutiny.
The previous news that 14 of the 29 Chinese workers captured in Sudan had been freed is now being cast into doubt, with the announcement by the Sudan state news agency that the previous numbers were incorrect:
The Sudan state news agency said early Tuesday that Sudanese forces had freed 13 Chinese workers kidnapped from a road-construction camp Saturday but that 29 remained in captivity. That was at odds with official statements Monday from the Sudanese news agency, which said 14 of the 29 had been rescued.
And as always, anytime pictures of expensive government buildings hit the internet, weibo chatter ensues concerning corrupt government officials and their vanity projects.
They might go something like (the following weib is a parody):
“(emoticon representing anger) My Cow, Grass his mother! These officials and their silly B ugly buildings, spending so much to please themselves when schools can’t even withstand earthquakes…and for Africans?!?!? (emoticon representing confusion) Why are we building for them when there are still so many poor people in China!!!”
Photos from Yahoo China.