South Korea has pledged to double its development assistance to Africa to the tune of US$214 million by 2012.
The pledge was made during the second Korea-Africa Forum that was organized by the government of South Korea in conjunction with African Union Commission.
Eight areas of cooperation were agreed upon in the Forum that brought together more than 120 top African officials, including Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade.
The areas of cooperation will include; Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development, Agriculture and Rural Development, Education and Vocational Training, Public Health Services, Trade and Investment, Information Communication Technology (ICT), Environment and Climate Change and Promotion of Private-Public Partnership.
In the 2006 initiative, Korea had committed to triple its Official Development Assistance (ODA) for Africa to US$100 million by 2008. The amount increased from 42.4 million US$ in 2005 to US$107.1 million in 2008.
At the meeting, Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Rosemary Museminali, delivered a speech on “Cooperation for common prosperity and achieving MDGs.”
“She stressed that to succeed in achieving MDGs, we must deal with the root causes; tackle poverty, build the necessary infrastructure and energy facilities, create enough skills to direct and drive development forward, create conducive conditions for private and public partnerships to thrive; and above all, enshrine all these in good governance,” reads part of the Minaffet communiqué.
Museminali also met her Korean counterpart, Yu Myung-Hwan, and discussed bilateral and multilateral issues of interest to both countries.
“On the sideline of the meeting she also met Mr. Jean Ping, Chairman of African Union Commission and Mr. Raymond Tshibanda, Minister of International & Regional Cooperation of the DRC.”
The South Korea-Africa Forum launched in 2006 as part of South Korea’s efforts to bolster ties with Africa, takes place every three years.
South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak noted that his country was proud to be an active participant in Africa’s growth, and will continue to cooperate fully with Africa.
The country which will host next year’s G20 Summit, has already expanded its ODA volume to Africa 2.5 times during the past 3 years.
President Myung-Bak promised to listen carefully to the interests and positions of developing countries, and speak for them in the next G20 Summit that will be hosted by South Korea.