New African Union Conference Center to be inaugurated on Saturday

African Union Conference Center (Photo: AU)

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – The new $200 million African Union (AU) Conference Center will be inaugurated on Saturday, January 28,2012, AU reported.

In a press conference he gave here today, AU Commission Secretary-General, Ambassador Jean Mfasoni said China provided full support for the construction of the Center.

Ambassador Mfasoni said the Center is indicative of the close partnership between Africa and China.

African leaders as well as Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Jia Qinglin will take part in the event.

The Ethiopian government provided 130,000 square meters land free of lease for construction of the building, which has 350 offices.

The government also exempted from tax materials imported for construction of the 20-storey building.

The Center, which covers a floor area of 51,887 square meters, comprises an office tower, a large conference hall, podium building and exterior engineering works. The office tower has a basement and 20 floors above ground and is 113.2 meters high. The building’s main frame is 99.9 meters high, signifying the date 9 September 1999 when the Organization of African Unity (OAU) voted to become the African Union (AU).

The main conference hall can sit over 2500 people, with 1040 people in the 1st floor balcony, 679 in the 2nd floor balcony and 786 in the 3rd floor balcony. The Center is further equipped with a medium-size conference hall with a capacity of 681 seats, a news briefing room, caucus meeting room, VIP reception, medical center, etc. The building’s external site has a total surface area of 11,000 square meters and includes an amphitheater, helipad, equipment room, flag square, sports field, garden and parking lot.