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Tunis, 29 October 2007 – The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has approved a US$ 5 million new Korean Trust Fund to support the implementation of the Africa-Korea Economic Cooperation Action Plan (KOAFEC) over a five-year period. The fund was approved on 15 October 2007, within the framework of the bilateral cooperation agreement between the Republic of Korea and the AfDB Group.
In April 2006, the Bank led a high-level Ministerial Conference to Seoul, between Korean government officials, academics and business people and several African Ministers of Economy and Planning under the aegis of KOAFEC. The purpose of the Conference was to define how to implement the Action Plan in four key areas: These are infrastructure and natural resources management, information and communication technology, knowledge sharing on Korea’s economic development experience, and human resources development.
The management of the new partnership and cooperation resources will be guided by the AfDB’s Technical Cooperation Fund Reform Programme (TCFR) approved by the Board of Directors in September 2006. The TCFR aims at standardizing, simplifying as well as aligning the AfDB Group’s Technical Cooperation Fund Programme with those of other Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs). The key elements of the TCFR include untying technical cooperation funds, introducing a threshold of US$ 100,000 for approval by the AfDB and standardizing processing time for donor approvals.
The Partnerships & Cooperation Unit of the Bank is responsible for the overall coordination and management of the Trust Fund.
As one of the first manifestations of this enhanced partnership, the Korean government, the Export-Import Bank (EXIMBANK) and the Korean Development Institute (KDI), in collaboration with the AfDB held a workshop for North Africa from 2 to 5 October 2007 in Tunis. The workshop was the first in a series and it brought together Algerian, Moroccan, Libyan, Egyptian, Mauritanian, Sudanese and Tunisian officials. It provided participants with an overview of Korea’s successful economic development experiences and explored the possibilities of applying them in their own countries.
The second workshop for Southern Africa will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, from 19-22 November 2007. Similar workshops have also been planned for the other three sub-regions of Africa in 2008.
At a glance: Korea & the AfDB Group
The Republic of Korea joined the African Development Fund (ADF) in February 1980 and the African Development Bank (ADB) in December 1982.
The total contribution of Korea to Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI), based on normalized ADF-X shares, is estimated at UA 51.58 million, equivalent to about US$ 80 million, or 0.883% of MDRI shares.
The Government of Korea also provided the equivalent of US$ 0.17 million through the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Trust Fund for financing the Bank Group’s contribution to the HIPC initiative. This represents 0.01% of the entire donor support to the Bank Group.
The first Technical Cooperation Agreement between the Korean Government and the Bank Group was signed in May 1998. The amount involved was US$ 2 million.
The Korea Eximbank provided the Bank Group with two experts in the Private Sector Department for a 2-year period from February 2005 and March 2007. The Ministry of Finance and Economy of Korea also seconded a research economist to the Development Research Department in October 2007.