Chinese President to Inaugurate New African Union HeadquartersChinese President Hu Jintao is expected to visit Addis Ababa this month to inaugurate a new African Union headquarters financed by China and built largely with Chinese labor. The project was launched when Moammar Gadhafi was maneuvering to move Africa's diplomatic capital to Libya.
Official African Union and Ethiopian sources confirm that President Hu will be in Addis Ababa January 28 to open what is being called "China's gift to Africa." The inauguration ceremony will be held the day before African heads of state hold their January meeting at AU headquarters for the first time.
According to custom, African heads of state meet every January in Addis Ababa. But the summit previously has been held at the city's United Nations conference center because the AU headquarters building was too small.
Construction of new facility began in June 2009, when Addis Ababa's position as Africa's diplomatic capital was in doubt. The city has been home to the continental body since its founding, largely due to the influence of the late Emperor Haile Selassie, who was one of the driving forces behind creation of the Organization of African Unity in 1963.