ADDIS ABABA, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia will see a new "Silk Road" project taking root, and this time a privately-funded Chinese hospital, the first of its kind in the East African nation.
On Tuesday, the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Addis Ababa Silk Road General Hospital was held in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.
The hospital will be built in two phases and have 600 beds, including 40 ICU beds, when construction is completed, with a total investment of about 30 million U.S. dollars from Seychelles Afei Holding Co., Ltd.
At the conclusion of the first phase, which will involve an investment of 16 million dollars, the hospital will have 200 beds, including 12 ICU beds.
Wang Jianhua, representative of Seychelles Afei, said the hospital will start operation once the first phase is completed within 12 months.
The hospital will hire 45-50 doctors and specialists from China, the United States, Europe, Russia, Cuba, and South America and deploy high-tech equipment to deliver quality services, Wang said.
There will be around 200 nurses at the hospital, about a quarter them from foreign countries, he told Xinhua.
Ethiopian State Minister of Health Kebede Worku said the new hospital will further strengthen people-to-people relations.
In remarks delivered at the groundbreaking ceremony, the minister praised China for creating opportunities for Africa in general and for Ethiopia in particular by supporting social and economic development endeavors.
He noted that China has been deploying medical teams in Ethiopia over the past four decades.
Liu Yu, economic and commercial counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, said the Addis Ababa Silk Road General Hospital would inject new impetus in the cooperation between the two countries in the health sector.
Lin Feng, vice chairperson of the Chinese Volunteer Medical Doctors Association, said the new hospital would serve as a medical training center.
Officials from the African Union and Addis Ababa University also attended the ceremony.