Korea forges ties with African countries to secure supply of essential minerals

By Im Yoon-seo Posted : June 4, 2024, 19:16 Updated : June 4, 2024, 20:40
President Yoon Suk Yeol right and Mauritania President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani speak at a joint press conference for the Korea-Africa Summit in Goyang Gyenggi Province on June 4 2024 Yonhap
President Yoon Suk Yeol (right) and Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani speak at a joint press conference for the inaugural Korea-Africa Summit in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province on June 4, 2024. Yonhap.

SEOUL, June 04 (AJU PRESS) - Korea hosted its first-ever multilateral summit with African countries in Seoul on Tuesday. With participation of over 60 leaders and representatives from 48 African nations, the inaugural summit reflects the growing importance of cooperation with the resource-rich countries.

After the main session of the Korea-Africa Summit, President Yoon Suk Youl and dozens of African leaders agreed to launch a high-level dialogue to strengthen partnership to secure a stable supply of essential minerals and other resources, vital for future industries and they adopted a joint declaration detailing their initiatives including the scope of cooperation.

"Recognizing Korea's leadership in advanced industries and Africa's importance as a globally significant region for critical mineral reserves, we emphasize the need to expand mutually beneficial cooperation and knowledge sharing," Yoon said in the joint declaration co-signed by Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, the current African Union chair.

To achieve these initiatives, Yoon announced plans to increase development aid to Africa up to US$10 billion by 2030 and provide additional $14 billion to help Korean companies invest in Africa. Yoon also emphasized cooperation in the areas of climate change crisis, health, and food security.

Earlier in the day during an opening address, Yoon highlighted the longstanding connections between South Korea and Africa, emphasizing their shared history and mutual support during key moments including the Korean War. Yoon also underscored the importance of coordination with African countries to fully implement UN Security Council's resolutions against North Korea's recent provocations and address tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Yoon separately held a series of bilateral meetings with several African heads of state and signed a slew of agreements to expand trade and investment.

The leaders concluded the summit by affirming the full implementation of the declaration. They also agreed to hold a foreign ministerial-level meeting in 2026 to review progress and come up with future plans.
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