South Korea pledges increased aid and trade with African nations

Seoul pushes for more co-operation on supply of minerals needed for modern technology at its first Africa summit

Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, acting chairman of the African Union, and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol during the 2024 Korea-Africa Summit in Goyang.  AFP
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South Korea has pledged to increase development assistance to Africa to $10 billion by 2030 and to provide $14 billion in support for Korean companies to expand their activities on the continent.

The pledge was made in a joint declaration issued at the conclusion of the first Korea-Africa summit, held over two days this week in the South Korean city of Goyang.

Representatives from 48 African countries and more than 200 politicians and businessmen from South Korea and Africa attended the meeting, which was held under the theme 'The Future We Make Together: Shared Growth, Sustainability, and Solidarity'.

Among the African leaders present were Mauritania's President, Mohamed Ould Cheick Ghazouani, who is also the acting chairman of the African Union, Tunisian Prime Minister Ahmed Hachani and the Speaker of Morocco's Parliament, Rachid Talbi El Alami.

South Korea signed 12 partnership agreements and 34 memorandums of understanding with several of the participating African countries, covering trade, energy, minerals and industry.

South Korea and Morocco announced the start of negotiations on an economic partnership agreement to strengthen collaboration in supply chains, digital industries and a wider range of commercial and trade sectors.

A joint trade and investment promotion framework was also put into place between South Korea and eight African countries, including Ghana, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

South Korea’s Ministry of Industry said that it signed agreements with Tanzania and Madagascar as it seeks to provide enough supplies for its lithium-ion battery industry.

Africa’s share of South Korean trade and investment currently stands at only about 2 per cent, something that the summit is seeking to change through deeper economic ties and a sustainable co-operation plan.

“The Critical Minerals Dialogue launched by South Korea and Africa will set an example for a stable supply chain through mutually beneficial co-operation and contribute to sustainable development of mineral resources around the world,” South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said on Wednesday, the concluding day of the summit.

“My hope is that mutually beneficial resource co-operation will be expanded.”

The final summit declaration also emphasised the need to strengthen the activities of the Korea-Africa Economic Co-operation Conference through the establishment of new high level consultative bodies in fields such as agriculture, customs and more.

Updated: June 05, 2024, 5:41 PM