H.E. Mayor Kuma,
H.E. State Minister Kebede,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I’m extremely delighted today to attend the Ceremony of Laying the Foundation Stone for Tirunesh Beijing Hospital today. On behalf of the Chinese Government and the Chinese Embassy, I would like to extend my warm congratulations on the ceremony and to express my sincere hope that the project could be completed and put into operation as early as possible.
Tirunesh Beijing Hospital will be constructed with the assistance of the Chinese Government under the eight policy measures of the Beijing Summit of the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). It is not only a new gift of China to the Ethiopian people, but also a gesture of support for the cause of health in Ethiopia by the Government and people of China. When completed, it will be a modern and comprehensive hospital with a floor-space of 6000 square-meters and 100 beds. The Chinese Government will also provide some medical instruments and equipment for the hospital.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Since China sent its first medical team to Africa in 1963, the cooperation between China and Africa in the field of health has consistently been strengthened and deepened. Up to now, China has sent 16,000 doctors to 51 African countries, treating 190 million patients. The performance of the Chinese medical teams demonstrates the spirit of humanitarianism and internationalism. They are honored in many African countries.
The fruitful cooperation in health is an important part of friendly relations between China and Ethiopia. China has so far sent 15 medical teams with a total number of 240 doctors to Ethiopia. The project of Anti-Malaria Center assisted by China under the eight policy measures of the Beijing Summit of FOCAC is well under way. The two countries have also conducted positive cooperation on human resources development in health.
I am also very glad that this hospital is aptly named Tirunesh Beijing Hospital. Ms. Tirunesh Dibaba, an excellent daughter of Ethiopian and a heroine of 2008 Beijing Olympics, has won glory for Ethiopia. The hospital will be proud to share her name and register her exceptional achievement in Beijing.
I would also like to reiterate that the Chinese Government values the traditional friendship with Ethiopia, will positively push ahead the pragmatic cooperation projects in Ethiopia under the framework FOCAC and expand bilateral cooperation in a more flexible and pragmatic manner, so as to achieve common development for both countries.