A Landmark in China–Africa Friendship: The China-Aided African Union Conference Center
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The African Union (AU) Conference Center is China’s largest assistance project in Africa after the Tanzania–Zambia Railway. This grand conference center is costly, high-quality, and beautifully designed, and thus is highly recognized and praised by the African people. It is regarded as a landmark for both China–Africa traditional friendship and cooperation in the new era. The first section of this chapter describes the process of this project from design and implementation to technical cooperation. The second section analyzes the characteristics of China’s foreign aid as reflected in this project, including demand orientation for project initiation, innovation of a management system to guarantee project quality, and emphasis on local employment and technical capacity-building. The third section analyzes the project’s effects and makes an assessment. The authors argue that the AU Conference Center is a clear reflection of China–Africa and China–AU cooperation, which shows that China attaches importance to and supports the AU’s significant role in promoting the peace, stability, and development of Africa. The effective functioning of the conference center is well recognized by the AU and the relevant African stakeholders.