President Akufo-Addo exchanging pleasantries with President Yoon Suk Yeol of South Korea
 President Akufo-Addo exchanging pleasantries with President Yoon Suk Yeol of South Korea

President calls for deepening of partnership with South Korea

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called for extra work by Africa and South Korea to remove barriers to trade, enhance infrastructure and promote knowledge exchange to unlock the full potential of their partnership.

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He said that although there had been significant progress in economic cooperation, with increased trade volumes and successful joint ventures in manufacturing, agriculture, and information technology, more needed to be done.

President Akufo-Addo was addressing the first-ever Korea-Africa Summit in Seoul, South Korea yesterday, on the theme: "The future we make together." In attendance at the two-day summit are the Korean President, Yoon Suk-Yeol, and representatives from 48 African nations. 

Pillars of cooperation

President Akufo-Addo identified three critical pillars for the future of Africa-Korea relations — shared growth, sustainability and solidarity. He underscored the importance of economic collaboration, and said Africa’s abundant natural resources and youthful population were key assets.

"By fostering trade, investment and innovation, we can create a relationship of synergy that benefits both regions," the President added. He said there had been a long-standing relationship between Ghana and Korea since 1977, adding that "Korea has proven to be a reliable partner and dependable friend of Ghana".

The President said the economic, cultural and political exchanges had benefited both nations. He commended the collaborative spirit that had characterised thier partnership and expressed hope for its continued strength.

Climate change

Addressing the global climate crisis, President Akufo-Addo said there was the need for sustainable practices to protect the environment. He lauded Korea’s leadership in green technology and sustainable development, and urged Africa to leverage such innovations, saying "this is not merely an environmental imperative, it is an economic opportunity that can drive long-term growth and stability".

The President emphasised the need for global solidarity, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges. He also highlighted the importance of supporting one another to ensure collective resilience, and referenced Korea’s recent trilateral meeting with Japan and China and its significance for Africa.

President Akufo-Addo said strengthening relations with economic powerhouses could lead to increased investment, new markets for African products and technology transfer.

He further touched on the potential of innovation and technology in driving sustainable development, and called for collaboration in research and development, advancement in digital literacy and promotion of entrepreneurship to harness the benefits of the fourth industrial revolution.

The President expressed confidence in the future of Africa-Korea relations, adding that "the future we make together should be one of shared growth, sustainability and solidarity". 

He urged both regions to seize the moment to deepen their collaboration and build a brighter, more prosperous future.

Assurance

President Yoon Suk Yeol, gave an assurance that South Korea would expand development aid to Africa and also pursue deeper cooperation with the region of 1.3 billion people on critical sectors, including technology.

He urged African countries to join the international community in mounting pressure on North Korea. The North recently accelerated its tests of nuclear-capable weapons system and flew hundreds of balloons that dropped tons of trash and manure on South Korea as relations between the war-divided Koreas worsen.

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