As the global economy continues to recover, many countries around the world are paying close attention to the vast potential of Africa
Uganda’s delegation included Bank of Uganda deputy governor, Louis Kasekende (left), and finance minister Matia Kasaija. Courtesy Photo
Uganda and several African governments have secured landmark commitment under the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) for support towards the industrialisation agenda; innovation and technology and smart infrastructure.
The commitment was secured in Busan, Korea, by Uganda’s delegation to the 2018 Africa Development Bank (AfDB) annual meetings in Korea whose theme is ‘Accelerating Africa’s Industrialisation’.
The delegation was led by the AfDB governor and minister of finance, planning and economic development, Matia Kasaija. It included the Bank of Uganda deputy governor, Louis Kasekende, deputy secretary to the treasury, Patrick Ocailap, economic advisor Wilson Twamuhabwa and senior economist Collins Ishimwe both from the finance ministry, and representatives from the National Planning Authority and Uganda Development Bank.
Among key interventions presented during the meeting and adopted as core areas of cooperation, were inclusive growth, modernisation of agriculture and human capital development. Other crucial areas for the accelerated development of Uganda and Africa in general are support in mobilisation of affordable long term capital.
Speaking during the opening ceremony on Monday, Young-Ju Kim, chairman of the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), said that as the global economy continues to recover, many countries around the world are paying close attention to the vast potential of Africa.
“If we could combine Korea’s know-how with Africa’s immense growth potential, we could become important partners in creating win-win outcomes for future prosperity,” he added.
Korea’s $5b financial package for Africa
During the meeting, the Korean government and AfDB issued a joint declaration announced a $5billion bilateral financial assistance package for Africa.
The package will be delivered over two years through partnerships with various development agencies, including, but not limited to, the African Development Bank Group. The package leverages resources from various Korean bilateral agencies and platforms, including the Knowledge Sharing Program, the Economic Development Cooperation Fund, Korea Import-Export Bank, among others.
Specifically, AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina and the deputy prime minister of Korea, Dong Yeon Kim, signed three cooperation agreements for the implementation of certain components of the $5billion package.
The first was the extension of the general cooperation agreement which allowed for the replenishment of the KOAFEC Trust Fund housed at the African Development Bank with $18m.
The Trust Fund, now totalling $93m will continue to provide critical capacity building grants and resources for project feasibility studies. An action plan of 20 KOAFEC projects were endorsed during the conference for 2019/20 destined for a diverse group of countries and sectors.
AfDB and the Republic of Korea also signed an agreement for the intent to provide up to $600m towards the energy sector.
They also signed a memorandum of understanding for the Korea-AfDB Tech Corps Program, which will allow for the exchange of technical expertise and human resources, to address ongoing challenges of youth unemployment in both regions.
On the occasion, Adesina noted that: “Africa needs to build, and we will build, wider partnerships for development. We want to build strong investment partnerships with Asia going forward.”
The next KOAFEC conference will be held in 2020.