South Korea’s Speaker of The National Assembly Kim Jin-Pyo and Kenya’s Deputy National Assembly Speaker Gladys Boss Shollei [South Korean Embassy]

The Government of South Korea is seeking to strengthen its relations with Africa through renewed partnerships with countries on the continent.

An international conference on enhancing economic cooperation between Korea and Africa, which took place last week in Nairobi aimed at cementing Korea’s cooperation with African nations.

The conference deliberated on economic, agricultural, and healthcare concerns within the continent, and leveraged on post-COVID-19 era development trajectories.

President of the Korea International Cooperation Agency Chang’ Won-Sam said the partnership is a platform for creating opportunities for economic prosperity between Africa and S. Korea.

“We are eager to share our development journey and explore practical avenues for stronger cooperation,” said Chang’ Won-Sam, noting that the similar historical injustices Korea has shared with Africa should be a motivation factor for collaboration.

The event was attended by the Asian country’s senior government officials and experts including the Speaker of the Korean National Assembly, Busan City’s deputy mayor Ahn Byeong-Yoon, as well as representatives of the Export-Import Bank of Korea and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

The Kenyan delegation included Senate Speaker Amason Kingi, his deputy Kathuri Murungi, and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Gladys Boss Shollei.

“We urge African countries to take advantage of the partnership to expand multilateral trade opportunities for development,” said Shollei, noting that the collaboration is anchored on the sustainable economic vision of the two countries.

President of the Export-Import Bank of Korea Yoon Hee-Sung said “the Export–Import Bank of Korea will facilitate the development and enhance economic cooperation with African countries through the provision of financial support.”

This happens against the backdrop of Busan City’s 2030 World Expo expected to address the environmental crisis globally, with the focus being Africa as the biggest victim of the effects of global warming.

“The expo will be anchored on the ‘no single use of plastic expo’ agenda. We want to demonstrate our commitment to a green and sustainable future,” South Korean Special Envoy Jang Sung Min said in Nairobi during a press briefing, early last month.

At the same time, the Korean Republic is planning to introduce direct flights from Seoul City to Nairobi to expand trade opportunities within the continent.

According to the World Bank, South Korea exports about Sh80 billion to Kenya and imports to the tune of Sh65 billion from Kenya.

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