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The 5th KOAFEC Ministerial Conference opens with calls for continued support for Africa

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President Adesina gestures as he addresses participants at the 5th KOAFEC Ministerial Conference, which opened in Seoul, Korea, on October 24

The 5thKorea-Africa Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) Ministerial Conference opened its doors in a colourful ceremony in Seoul, the Korean capital, on October 24, 2016.

The event, under the theme “Transforming Africa’s Agriculture through Industrialization and Inclusive Finance” is being attended by over 500 participants, including Ministers of Finance representing AfDB’s regional member countries, pan-African institutions, regional economic communities and CEOs from the private sector.  

In his welcoming remarks, President Akinwumi Adesina of the African Development Bank hailed the longstanding collaboration between Korea and Africa, describing KOAFEC as the place to strengthen this bond of friendship. 

President Adesina commended the country’s technological and economic advancement, which he said had far surpassed Africa. Korea, he added, offers lessons for Africa. “We shared so much in common in terms of challenges of development. But somehow you have grown so much faster and better than we have,” stated Adesina.

KOAFEC provides a platform to share Korea’s experiences with Africa on how it achieved economic development known by many as the “Miracle of Han River”. “It is important to discuss how we did it and discuss ways to find practical economic solutions,” said Lee Duk-Hoon, President of Korea Eximbank.

Duk-Hoon highlighted the important role of public-private partnerships in steering growth, and pointed to a special Public-Private Partnerships Forum to be held within the KOAFEC conference. “We need to hear the voice of the Korean and African private sector to be able to assess gaps and deliberate on how to move forward.”

Yoo II-ho, Korea’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategy and Finance, referred to Africa as a continent of untapped potential and great opportunity. He reiterated his country’s support to “helping Africa to address poverty, create jobs and promote resilience.”

II-ho noted that Korea’s investment to Africa had grown six-fold since the 1st KOAFEC in 2006, demonstrating the confidence Korea has in the continent.

The KOAFEC Ministerial Conference is jointly hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Korean Ministry of Strategy and Finance (MOSF) and Korea Eximbank.

For more information on KOAFEC, please visit: 

(left to right) Lee Duk-Hoon, President of Korea Eximbank; Yoo II-ho, Korean Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Strategy and Finance; AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina; and Equatorial Guinea’s Vice-Minister in the Ministry of Budgeting and Financial Control, Eusebio Ipiko Penda; take their handprints in commemoration of KOAFEC’s 10th anniversary. The hand print is also in recognition of AfDB’s High 5s.

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