By Azania Post Reporter
KOREAN government has announced to dish a total of USD 5bn bilateral financial assistance package for the African continent.
A statement issued by the African Development Bank (AfDB) said that the money would be channeled through development agencies.
The assistance was announced in a Joint Declaration following the conclusion of the Ministerial Roundtable of the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) Conference taking place during the African Development Bank’s 53rd Annual Meetings.
Ministerial Roundtable is the signature event of the biennial KOAFEC Conference, gathering a peer group of African Ministers of Finance who also serve as the African Development Bank Board of Governors to discuss topical issues and a Pan-African approach to engagement with Korea.
Taking place under the theme “Africa and the 4th Industrial Revolution: Opportunities for leapfrogging?”, the Ministerial Conference highlighted the need for long-term planning for industrial development and execution of projects, as well as a focus on value addition in sectors where Africa has a comparative advantage for example in agriculture and natural resources.
There was also a need to further leverage technology such as the mobile phone for more inclusive growth, in favor of the youth.
The $5-billion financial assistance package will be delivered over two years through partnerships with various development agencies, including but not limited to the African Development Bank Group.
According to AfDB, the package leverages resources from various Korean bilateral agencies and platforms, including the Knowledge Sharing Program, the Economic Development Cooperation Fund, Korea Import-Export Bank, among others. Specifically, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina and the Deputy Prime Minister of Korea, Dong Yeon Kim, signed three cooperation agreements for the implementation of certain components of the $5-billion package by the Bank Group.
The first was the extension of the General Cooperation Agreement which allowed for the replenishment of the KOAFEC Trust Fund housed at the African Development Bank with US $18 million. The Trust Fund, now totaling $93 million will continue to provide critical capacity building grants and resources for project feasibility studies. An Action Plan of 20 KOAFEC projects were endorsed during the Conference for 2019-2020 destined for a diverse group of countries and sectors.