Partnership overview

The Republic of Korea is one of the Bank’s most active and generous partners. It joined the African Development Fund in 1980 and the African Development Bank two years later in 1982. Korea’s pledges to the concessional funding base of the institution has taken a steadily upward momentum further cementing the country’s longstanding and critical friendship with Africa. Korea has an economic policy broadly touches on all the Bank’s High 5s with a focus on renewable energy, agricultural infrastructure, capacity building, urban transportation, special economic zones and vocational training and skills development, among others. Korea’s relationship with Africa is unique in that the country made the successful transition from aid recipient nation to donor country within the span of a single generation, which makes Korea one of Africa’s most cherished and influential advisors in terms of economic transformation.

Joint initiative

The Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) Trust Fund or General Cooperation Agreement (GCA) is one of the most important bilateral funds of the Bank in terms of its size and replenishment levels. The first KOAFEC TF was approved in De-cember 2007 and stands at USD 80 million. The Trust Fund supports capacity building and technical assistance in regional member countries, including joint research and knowledge sharing between Korea and Africa. In addition, Korea has signed a USD 600 million co-financing memorandum of understanding with the AfDB for the period 2015-2018. Korea has already committed USD 155 million to four pipeline projects in Eastern Africa. By virtue of the ongoing co-financing agreement, the Bank works closely with many other Korean agencies including the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) and the Korean Export-Import Bank (KEXIM).

Korea is also keen to ensure that its people better understand the continent of Africa and the work of the Bank Group. The country has introduced special initiatives such as the MDB Job Fair in Seoul to promote the Korea-AfDB Special Internship Program and a number of staff exchange and secondee programmes. Korea has seconded technical assistants in some of the Bank’s departments including the Chief Economist’s complex. This provides the opportunity to learn more from bilateral agencies such as Korea Development Institute (KDI) and the Korean Expressway Corporation (KEC).

A hallmark of the Bank’s cooperation with Korea is the annual KOAFEC Ministerial Conference which bring together minis-ters and delegations from all over Africa and Korea, representing governmental organizations, the private sector, academia, and the media with the objective of serving as a comprehensive platform for promoting mutually beneficial partnership between Korea and Africa. Its objectives include the crafting of state strategies and increasing business and trade opportu-nities. Launched in 2006, the conference welcomes over 500 participants.


Mr. Hau Sing Tse

Executive Director

Email: h.tse@afdb.org

Mr. Wenzhong LIU

Senior Advisor

Email: w.liu@afdb.org


Relationship Manager, Korea Desk

Email: n.spio-garbrah@afdb.org

Resource Mobilisation & Partnerships Department

Mr. Mouhamed MBACKE

Partnerships Consultant

Email: m.mbacke@afdb.org

Resource Mobilisation & Partnerships Department