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South Korea, Africa Launch High-level Dialogue On Minerals

LEADERS of South Korea and African nations have agreed to initiate a high-level dialogue on expanding cooperation in the supply chain of critical minerals. This agreement was reached during the Korea-Africa Summit held in Seoul, where delegates from 48 African nations gathered to discuss boosting economic ties.

President Yoon Suk Yeol hosted the main session of the summit, which concluded with the adoption of a joint declaration. This declaration emphasised the importance of trade and investment, cooperation in critical minerals, development projects, and collaboration on the global stage.


‘Recognising Korea’s leadership in advanced industries and Africa’s importance as a globally significant region for critical mineral reserves, we emphasise the need to expand mutually beneficial cooperation and knowledge sharing, including at the ministerial level, to promote the development of industries related to critical minerals,’ stated the declaration.

‘In this context, we agree to launch the Korea-Africa Critical Minerals Dialogue during this summit, which will serve as an important institutional foundation for enhancing cooperation between Korea and Africa,’ it added.

President Yoon announced South Korea’s plan to expand official development assistance to up to $10bn by 2030 and provide export financing of about $14bn to help Korean companies increase trade and investment in Africa.

The leaders also agreed to strengthen institutional frameworks for economic cooperation, including Economic Partnership Agreements, Trade and Investment Promotion Frameworks, Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements, and Investment Protection Agreements.

South Korea welcomed African countries’ efforts to unify payment systems and establish a one-stop origin management system. These measures would facilitate access to a mega market with a population of 1.4 billion and a GDP of $3.4 trillion.

‘We acknowledge the significant role of Africa for sustainable global economic development, and welcome the efforts to establish a single market and accomplish regional economic integration through the African Continental Free Trade Area,’ the declaration stated.

Other key agenda items included expanded cooperation in infrastructure, food security, climate change, and digital technologies.

South Korea has been elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2024-25 term. The African Union, consisting of 54 member states, accounts for nearly 28 percent of the United Nations’ overall membership. Last year, the pan-African organisation joined the Group of 20 as a permanent member, demonstrating its rising influence on the global stage.

The Korea-Africa Summit, the largest multilateral summit hosted by the Yoon administration, comes as South Korea seeks deeper engagement with the rising African market. Currently, South Korea’s trade with Africa accounts for only 1.9 percent of the nation’s total trade.

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