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New Horizons in Korea-Africa Relations

Daniel Kim Views  

President Yoon Suk Yeol made a joint declaration to strengthen cooperation in areas including critical mineral supply chains, digital transformation, science and technology, and investment and infrastructure, with leaders from 48 African countries. This move is seen as laying the groundwork for expanding into Africa. At the KINTEX in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, Yoon presided over the Korea-Africa Summit and announced a joint declaration encompassing three main agendas and seven key areas of cooperation between South Korea and Africa. About 48 out of 55 African countries participated in this multilateral summit.

The joint declaration includes a total of 25 items to enhance future cooperation between Korea and Africa. The three main agendas include Shared Growth, Sustainability, and Solidarity, with specifications of seven key areas of cooperation: trade and investment, response to global challenges, sustainable infrastructure, vocational training and education, digital transformation and science and technology, promotion of mutual understanding and exchange, and peace and security.

In the realm of trade and investment, the focus was on strengthening business partnerships through initiatives like Korea’s support for African industrialization, EPA, and TIPF, thus expanding the institutional foundation for economic cooperation. Moreover, cooperation was encouraged in large-scale infrastructure projects such as roads, railways, bridges, ports, and airports. The Tech Africa Initiative (TAI) was launched in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a means to enhance economic cooperation. TAI supports the enhancement of the digital capabilities of African youth using Korean digital technology.

An additional 12 treaties and agreements and 34 MOUs were signed. These included six Trade and Investment Promotion Frameworks (TIPF), five Basic Agreements on the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF), three Infrastructure and Mobility MOUs, and two agreements on key mineral cooperation. Furthermore, agreements were made on renewable energy, climate change cooperation, ICT cooperation, cyber security cooperation, customs cooperation, and EDCF. Declarations were also made to start negotiations on two Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA).

Yoon emphasized, “We will explore sustainable cooperation methods for issues directly linked to future growth, such as stable supply of key minerals and digital transformation, with African countries.”

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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