ADDIS ABABA, June 6 (Xinhua) -- Construction work on the China-aided future headquarters of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) is running "very smoothly with full force," a long-serving African Union (AU) expert has said.
Fantahun Hailemichael, coordinator of the Africa CDC headquarters project at the AU, told Xinhua in a recent interview that the construction of the landmark project is presently progressing smoothly and as planned.
Construction work started in December last year in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, as part of the ever-growing China-Africa cooperation in the public health sector.
"Currently, the project is running very smoothly with full force. The foundation has been almost finished, and the project is now coming up. Most of the technical ground work has already been finished," he said.
The project, covering an area of 90,000 square meters and with a total construction area of nearly 40,000 square meters, is expected to be completed within 25 months. It will be equipped with modern office buildings, high-end laboratories, and accessories.
"The project is the outcome of generous support from China to support Africa as a true and trusted partner of African countries and the African Union," said the expert.
He noted that the project envisaged improving the public health service in Africa, particularly in terms of boosting Africa's capabilities in controlling and managing infectious diseases.
He said that African countries in particular and the continent in general do not have adequate capacity, which has been evident in the advent of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that wreaked havoc on a global level.
"That's why the government of China came in as a good friend to support Africa to tackle 'corona-type' diseases, in which African countries do have serious challenges to protect their own citizens and to make necessary investigations, find necessary medications and vaccinations and provide the necessary medical care," he said.
China's support is "credible, achievable and very concrete," he said.
Recalling China's trustworthy partnership with Africa that saw the successful completion of the AU headquarters back in 2012, the veteran AU expert said the future Africa CDC headquarters project will be another manifestation of the ever-growing China-Africa ties.