Foreign Minister Park Jin speaking during the Korea Night in Addis Ababa.

Seoul to Host First South Korea-Africa Summit Next Year

ADDIS ABABA – The South Korean government is set to join a growing number of global economic powers in hosting its own African Summit.

Africa’s geopolitical profile has recently grown to be seen as a vital region for global powers seeking to expand their sphere of influence. China, European Union, Japan, Russia, Turkey, and the U.S. are among the countries hosting their annual African gatherings.

“Korea will host, for the first time, the Korea-Africa Summit next year,” the visiting South Korea’s Foreign Minister Park Jin announced in Addis Ababa.

FM Park says with 1.4 billion people in 54 countries representing burgeoning consumer markets, entrepreneurship, technological innovation, and sustainable development, Africa is the next global powerhouse of the 21st century.

“The future of the world economy depends on Africa as African youth will account for a prominent share of the global labor growth in the coming era,” he added.

The bilateral trade with Africa has been increasing over the years and reached a record 27 billion US Dollars last year, FM Park said. More than 300 Korean companies are actively engaging in the continent.

The minister further states that South Korea would also seek to foster “a robust dynamic partnership” with Africa.

To do that, Park said, “new engines for future cooperation need to be created that align with the changing time.”

The planned first Korea-Africa Summit is seen as a key ingredient.

“It will offer strong momentum at the highest level for elevating our cooperation in such areas as trade, investment, technology, and green growth,” Park said.