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KOR

Press Releases

“Korea-Africa Foundation” Formally Launched

Date
2018-06-25
hit
5073

1. The opening ceremony of the “Korea-Africa Foundation,” the Foreign Ministry’s fourth affiliate established to strongly support private-public exchanges with Africa, took place on June 25 in the “Community Chest of Korea” building that houses the Foundation. The event brought together Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, lawmakers of ruling and opposition parties who were members of the National Assembly Forum for Africa's New Era, and members of the African Diplomatic Corps in the Republic of Korea, all of whom offered congratulations to the body on its launch.

 

° Also among the event’s participants were those from the Foreign Ministry’s other subsidiary bodies, -- the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the Korea Foundation (KF) and the Overseas Koreans Foundation -- other relevant public organizations, and such business groups as the Korea Chamber of Commerce. The participants expressed great expectations on the Foundation’s role as a platform for cooperation on Africa-related matters.

 

2. In her congratulatory remarks, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha brought renewed attention to the fact that Ethiopia and the South African Republic had dispatched their troops to the ROK to fight alongside it in the tragic war that had broken out on the Korean Peninsula 68 years ago. She went on to say that the ROK, which had achieved democracy and economic development simultaneously in merely half a century after the war, was, as a development model for Africa, forging genuine relations with the region. She also noted with appreciation that Koreans, mainly the young, were increasingly taking keen interest in Africa, as can be seen from some 6,000 young Koreans so far having experienced Africa as World Friends Korea (WFK) volunteers. 

 

° Minister Kang asked the Foundation to fulfill its role in a way that would allow young Koreans as well as small- and medium-sized enterprises and venture companies interested in Africa to knock on its door at any time, and to function as a platform for private-public cooperation on Africa-related matters.

 

° On a side note, ahead of its formal launch, the Foundation, together with the African Diplomatic Corps in the ROK, hosted a “seminar on ways for businesses to build presence in Africa” on June 20 to mark the “Africa Day,” and sought ways that the ROK and Africa could achieve growth together.

 

The “Africa Day” is the anniversary of the founding in 1963 of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the predecessor of the African Union (AU).

 

3. In his congratulatory remarks, lawmaker and head of the National Assembly Forum for Africa's New Era Lee Ju-young expressed hope that although the ROK was a somewhat late-comer compared to other countries in seeking to step up cooperation with Africa, the world’s last-remaining growth engine, the Foundation would play a role in kicking off efforts to enhance the ROK-Africa ties.

 

° Congratulatory remarks were also delivered by lawmaker and deputy head of the Forum Seol Hoon, who stressed that the “Korea-Africa Foundation” had been established pursuant to the “Korea-Africa Foundation act,” which ruling and opposition parties had jointly proposed in view of the steadily growing importance of diplomacy toward Africa; and spoke of the National Assembly’s plan to render active assistance to the Foundation with its operation.

 

The National Assembly Forum for Africa's New Era, a spontaneous group of some 60 lawmakers interested in Africa, holds a morning seminar every other week during the parliamentary session, seeking to help people learn more about Africa; to boost high-level exchanges with parliaments of African countries; to offer advice on the direction of policies toward Africa; and to support bids of Korean people and companies to build presence in Africa.

 

4. On its opening day, the Foundation hosted an event titled “young Koreans and Africans design a co-prosperous future,” during which three young Koreans, who had been to Africa, and four African youngsters staying in the ROK shared with one another their experiences and thoughts.

 

° At the event, Robin Damas, a Korea University student from Tanzania, said that he wanted to build after graduation a youth startup together with Korean and Tanzanian friends using the knowledge he would have acquired in the ROK; and asked the Foundation to work hard to increase private exchanges, mainly between younger generations of the ROK and Africa.

 

° Going forward, the Foundation will continue gathering opinions from young Koreans and Africans through the proposed Africa alumni group and ROK-Africa youth forum and use those opinions in the project-planning process.

 

The Africa alumni group will be organized to gather for use in the ROK knowledge and experiences of Koreans, who have returned home from Africa after holding jobs, taking part in volunteer work and studying in the region.

 

The ROK-Africa youth forum will serve as a platform for networking between young Africans in the ROK and young Koreans who have lived in Africa.

 

5. The opening ceremony was joined by Ambassador and Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps in the ROK Albino Malungo and Ambassadors from 18 African countries. On behalf of the African Diplomatic Corps in the ROK, Ambassador Malungo asked the Foundation, as well as the Foreign Ministry, to play the role as a bridge between the ROK and Africa for advances in the bilateral relations, expressing expectations in that regard.

 

 

* unofficial translation