Preparations hit top gear for Korea-Africa Summit 2024

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By Okechukwu Jombo

Officials from the diplomatic mission of African countries in Korea and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs continued their consultative meetings towards preparation for the Korea-Africa summit scheduled to take place in Seoul in the month of June,2024.

South Korea and with its already trading countries like the US,China,Japan,Vietnam, Turkey, India, New Zealand,Peru, the European Union, now seek to add African countries as trading allies for mutual benefits which is the essence of the Korea-Africa summit.

As explained by the Korean ambassador Dong-han Yang, during his meeting with African ambassadors, the summit will provide an opportunity to form future-oriented partnership with their African counterparts. Also, to be able to share development experiences with their partners in Africa so that the dynamism of the African countries can revitalise the growth of participating countries.

The theme of the summit: ‘The Future We Make Together: Shared Growth,Sustainability, and Solidarity’ is to discuss, amongst other things, a roadmap for strategic cooperations between South Korea and African countries.

The prioritised collaboration areas expected also include addressing global challenges, sustainable energy, and infrastructure. Others are the development of human resources, including TVET; science, technology, and digital transformation, promoting people to people exchange, and achieving peace and security.

During the summit, South Korea will be launching Official Negotiations for the first ever Free Trade Association, FTA with African countries, because, currently, out of its 21 FTAs with 27 countries, none is with African countries.

The Korea-Africa summit holding in June 2024, is expected to reverse the current status, where Africa constitutes only one percent of Korean trade with the rest of the world, and it will also enable African countries to export produce directly to Korea instead of going via other countries,such as Vietnam,China, and India.

The gains of the Korea-Africa summit shall see several countries, including the President Tinubu led FG, tap into the trading and investment values running into billions of dollars. The Korea-Africa summit shall also provide opportunities for sideline meetings just like the G20 summit held in Delhi, a summit where the African Union was confered with a permanent member title, where President Tinubu was able to meet with leaders of the US, Germany and even South Korea.