January 31, 2012
Standing on what was once Ethiopia’s oldest maximum security prison, the new African Union headquarters funded by China is a symbol of the Asian giant’s push to stay ahead in Africa and gain greater access to the continent’s resources.
Critics point to an imbalance in what they see as the new “Scramble for Africa.” But the prospect of growing Chinese economic influence is welcomed by African leaders, who see Beijing as a partner to help build their economies at a time when Europe and the United States are mired in economic turmoil.
… “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,” he said.
The brown marble and glass monolith was fully paid for by China, right down to the office furniture, and cost $200 million. The office complex and almost 100 metre (330 foot) tower is Addis Ababa’s tallest building by far.