Korea to enhance African support

Korean and African Finance Ministers have agreed on a framework for enhanced co-operation, with ICT support a key factor.

The Minister of Strategy and Finance of the Republic of Korea and representatives from African countries, including Ministers and the President of the African Development Bank, met in Seoul this week, for the 4th Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation Ministerial Conference (KOAFEC).

The Conference was co-organized by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, Korea Eximbank and the African Development Bank.

Under the theme of inclusive growth, the parties agreed on a set of actions, based on 6 priority areas, to strengthen the framework for enhanced Korea-Africa cooperation.

These include targeted efforts towards inclusive growth – including the promotion of regional integration and trade. Korea has also undertaken to support African countries in the field of education.

Korea also welcomed the collective efforts of Africa’s regional organisations, including the African Development Bank, in devising a comprehensive roadmap and action plan for infrastructure development at the continental level; and agreed to collaborate with the AfDB to develop social  infrastructure in African countries and facilitate further cooperation on this front. Korea undertook to support the construction of medical schools, as well as a wide range of infrastructure projects, such as the construction of new roads; research on information technology-based transportation systems and providing training opportunities to African officials in the transport sector.

As an information-technology powerhouse, Korea will share its experience and know-how in the field of information technology,  with  the  aim of assisting African countries  to  progress towards inclusive growth, by  narrowing the information gap and reducing the costs of information-sharing. Korea will also promote cultural exchange, training programmes and consulting services for African government officials and technicians in the field of ICTs; and will help countries to establish national registration systems.

Health, education, agriculture and environmental conservation also came under the spotlight, with Korea undertaking to provide enhanced support of African countries in these areas.

AfDB President Donald Kaberuka said Africa was seeking to understudy the development success profile of South Korea.

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