Korea Pledges $28.6 Million Boost to Africa’s Development

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In a move hailed as a testament to the enduring partnership between Korea and Africa, the African Development Bank and the Government of Korea have inked two groundbreaking agreements worth a combined $28.6 million.

The signings took place during the 7th Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation Ministerial Conference (KOAFEC), setting a promising tone for the event’s proceedings. This announcement was made in a recent statement on the AfDB’s website.

At the heart of this development is a commitment to bolstering Africa’s development agenda. In a joint ceremony, African Development Bank Group President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, and Korea’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance, Kyungho Choo, signed the first agreement that secures this substantial financial support.

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Choo, lauding the cooperation, emphasized Korea’s status as “a true partner for African countries” and pledged unwavering support for Africa’s sustainable growth and development. He expressed confidence in the Korean government’s contribution to Africa’s flourishing future.

Adesina, on his part, underscored the timeliness of this additional funding, especially as Korea celebrates the 40th anniversary of its association with the African Development Bank.

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He commended Korea’s remarkable journey from being a poor aid-dependent nation to becoming a donor country within a single generation. “Korea’s relationship with Africa is unique,” Adesina remarked.

In a separate agreement, the African Development Bank partnered with Statistics Korea to enhance statistical cooperation and boost the data production capabilities of African countries.

This collaboration, signed by African Development Bank Chief Economist and Vice President Kevin Urama and Commissioner of Statistics Korea, Hyoung il Lee, aims to raise statistical awareness and improve data quality.

Under this agreement, the two institutions will explore avenues for cooperation, including leveraging big data to enhance statistical quality. The partnership also highlights the African Development Bank’s Africa Information Highway, a network connecting all African countries and 16 regional organizations for evidence-based decision-making.

This substantial financial injection complements the $600 million co-financing commitment under the Korea-Africa Energy Investment Framework established in 2021.

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The funding is earmarked to support energy access, agricultural transformation, and knowledge and capacity-building across multiple African countries. The funds will be disbursed to the African Development Bank Group over three installments, with $4.6 million scheduled for 2023 and $24 million in both 2024 and 2025.

The Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation Trust Fund, characterized by significant contributions and a robust portfolio, continues to be a cornerstone of the African Development Bank’s bilateral trust funds, with $108 million in contributions received as of December 31, 2022.

It has played a pivotal role in financing 203 projects since its inception, further solidifying the strong bond between Korea and Africa in their shared pursuit of development and growth.

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