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South Korea Seeks African Minerals, Markets at Key Summit

SOUTH Korea is focusing on Africa’s rich mineral resources and potential as a vast export market during a summit with leaders from 48 African nations this week. The summit aims to facilitate aid for industrial infrastructure and digital transformation on the continent.

‘Africa is a crucial partner for South Korea to further its industrial advances. Cooperation with Africa is not a choice but a necessity,’ said Kim Tae-hyo, deputy national security adviser to President Yoon Suk Yeol.


At least 30 heads of state are attending the summit on Tuesday, with delegations from 48 countries participating. A joint statement will be issued by President Yoon and President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani of Mauritania, the chair of the African Union, according to Yoon’s office.

On Wednesday, South Korean business leaders will host a business summit focusing on investment, industrial development, and food security. ‘Africa’s strategic importance has never been greater,’ Kim emphasised.

South Korea, one of the world’s largest energy buyers and a leading producer of semiconductors and electric vehicles, views a partnership with Africa as crucial. Africa holds 30 percent of the world’s critical minerals, including chrome, cobalt, and manganese, essential for various high-tech industries, Yoon’s office noted.

Since Friday, President Yoon has held meetings with leaders from Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. He is also scheduled to meet the heads of other states, including Zimbabwe, Togo, Rwanda, and Mozambique, on Monday.

Tanzania announced it would borrow $2.5bn over the next five years from South Korea through concessional loans. Meanwhile, Ethiopia signed a $1bn financing deal over four years for infrastructure, science and technology, health, and urban development.

By offering support for industrial infrastructure and digital transformation, South Korea aims to tap into Africa’s vast and fast-growing market, home to 1.4 billion people, most of whom are 25 or younger.

Agreements to establish the groundwork for trade and investment are expected to be signed with several countries. These agreements will help set up the administrative foundation for freer trade and advanced customs management, Kim stated.

Aid in agricultural technology and plans for cooperation on climate change responses are also on the summit’s agenda.

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