|The photo taken on Jan. 28, 2012 shows the AU Conference Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The new Conference Center for the African Union (AU), which is sponsored by the Chinese government, will be inaugurated here on Saturday. (Xinhua/Ding Haitao) |
ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- The magnificent new headquarters of the African Union (AU) built with Chinese assistance in Addis Ababa, is a symbol of the rise of Africa, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said Saturday at the inauguration of the building.
Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), handed over the "golden key" of the conference center to Jean Ping, chairperson of the AU Commission, in the presence of the AU heads of state and government, diplomats and representatives of regional and international organizations.
Meles said the new headquarters, the AU Conference Center and Office Complex (AUCC), depicts Africa's rise and bright future and that the great hall is meant to convey the message of optimism and a new era of hope.
Meles hailed the contribution by the Chinese people and government.
"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.
"Over the past decades, China-Africa cooperation has gone from strength to strength. The future of our partnership is even brighter. It is therefore very appropriate for China to decide to build this hall, the hall of the rise of Africa, the hall of African renaissance and the adjoining office building for us," said the prime minister.
The AU, which has been holding its summits at the Conference Center of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in Addis Ababa, will for the first time hold its summit within the new complex.