Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - A Nigerian newspaper on Friday described as a 'shame to Africa' the donation of the African Union headquarters building to the continent by China.
''The building of the AU headquarters by the Chinese government is a shame to Africa. The unnecessary gesture underscores the myopic way leaders on the continent reason without thinking of the medium or long-term implications of their actions,'' the private NATION newspaper said in its editorial, entitled 'Sale of Africa'.
It expressed surprise that African leaders are, out of ignorance, celebrating the new foreign built ultra-modern complex which tomorrow might turn out to undermine the security of the continent.
''Regrettably too, virtually all materials, used for the construction of the edifice and even the furniture came from China, thereby arousing intense suspicion that the building might have been bugged under the pretence of China’s generosity towards Africa.
''We ask: are there no African companies with the requisite technology and expertise to build such an edifice? Something as symbolic as the AU headquarters should under no circumstances have been left for foreigners to build. Even if funding was the problem, we
can count quite a number of wealthy Africans that can individually or collectively, if contacted, fund the building of such an important African heritage,'' the paper wrote.
The NATION said the AU ought to have turned down the 2006 offer by China to build a befitting headquarters for it, arguing that the acceptance of that offer, culminating into the building and eventual hand over of the edifice, surprisingly ''marked the ultimate sale of Africa to China that is seriously competing for global leadership role with the United States of America''.
The 20-storey edifice, built at a cost of US$200 million, was officially handed over to the AU at its 18th Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, last weekend.
The edifice covers an area of 50,000 square metres, and boasts a 2,550-seat big conference hall, 650-seat medium conference hall, five press conference rooms and two VIP rooms, among other luxurious facilities.
-0- PANA SEG 3Feb2012