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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the partnership between Africa and the Republic of Korea provides ample opportunity for mutual growth and prosperity.
Opening the 4th Africa-Korea Partnership Forum Wednesday, Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu said Korea is one of the industrial powerhouses of the world. Its rapid industrialization, scientific advancement and educational gains are good experiences from which Africa can draw valuable lesson, he said.
Citing ECA Economic Report 2016, the minister said Africa has made significance strides in all dimensions of economic and human development indicators. Africa has some of the fastest growing economies in a constrained global environment.
“Our cooperation in industrialization, knowledge, and technology transfer, among others, would enable us add value and benefit from our abundant natural resources,” Dr. Workneh added.
African Union Commission (AUC) Deputy Chairperson Erastus Mwencha said the Commission recognizes and welcomes the progress made in the bilateral cooperation between African countries and Korea. However, he added, a new dimension needs to be added to the momentum in order to redirect focus on regional and continental projects and programmes.
He further said: ” The AUC needs the strategic partnership of all including Korea for the success of the first ten-year implementation plan of Agenda 2063 which is already in motion.”
The African side has drafted the Addis Ababa Declaration and the Framework for Cooperation for the 4th Africa-Korea Ministerial Forum based on priority areas enshrined in Agenda 2063 and taking into consideration the core competences and capabilities of Korea, he added.
“We expect our partner, Korea to understand the paradigm shift in the African affairs and to share with us the huge Korean experience in creating conducive environment for economic development and in making possible a skill revolution process in Africa.”
Korean Foreign Affairs Minister Yun Byung-se for his part said: “This year is the year of Africa in Korean diplomacy.” He said Africa was a priority region for Korea and particularly for economic sector cooperation, peace and security.
He mentioned Korea’s involvement in Africa’s rural development, health care and education as well as development assistance and bilateral cooperation.
The minister emphasized that Africa had been a long-standing friend for Korea and stressed the Forum should be instrumental in raising ties to a higher level once again.
Yun Byung-se said his country would work in close collaboration for the peace, prosperity and human dignity of their respective peoples.