Delegates to the Ministerial Conference on Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation continued to exchange views and compare notes in Seoul on Wednesday in a series of seminars on critical economic, development and cooperation issues.
In the first session Mr. Luciano Borin, Director of Private Sector Department of the AfDB, gave an hour-long presentation on the title of "Business Opportunities in Africa." He provided in-depth information on the key areas of interest, such as the increasing importance of infrastructure development and the critical need for integrated development to create a wide market for goods. He gave details concerning the Bank’s involvement in infrastructure, mining, agri-business, financial system, investment funds and tourism.
"The economic development, eventually, is not a matter of time but a matter of national sense of purpose, policy and commitment," said Mr. Borin in the answer to a question about when African countries on average will achieve the per-capita annual GDP of 5,000 to 10,000 dollars. "Look where you are today. In the 1960s, Korea’s GDP level was the equivalent of Ghana’s," he said, emphasizing the importance of higher education and human capital building.
In his intervention on the first day of the conference, the President of the African Development Bank Group, Mr. Donald Kaberuka, attributed the huge economic progress achieved by the country to pragmatism and the ability to focus on what works. Korea, he said, is one of the few countries that have graduated from being an aid receiver to an aid donor, stressing that Africa could benefit immensely from Korea’s experience.