One of the most conspicuous changes the global community is witnessing at the turn of the century is the emergence of Africa. Conflicts and civil unrests in the region have diminished drastically while peaceful political turn-over through election have become the prevailing norm, not an exception.
In contrast to the aging world population, Africa has the youngest population due to its robust population growth. Having registered annual economic growth of 5% for the past decade, Africa has become the most rapidly developing continent on the planet.
Indeed, Africa, known as the birth place of mankind, is now emerging as the future engine of the world economy. It is not surprising, in this regard, that the global community is paying close attention to Africa.
South Korea, having started economic development as one of the lowest income countries in the world, is well aware how arduous the path of economic development can be, and is quite ready to share its experience with the African countries now embarking on the road to development.
Rather than considering Africa merely as a source of natural resources or a place to do business, Korea considers Africa a partner for mutual growth and wishes to share Korea’s development experience and cultivate a friendship based on mutual empathy.
Since the launching of the ‘Korea’s Initiative for Development of Africa’ back in 2006, the Korean government has been actively organizing various cooperation forums with African partners in order to explore and solidify its relationship with Africa.
The Korea-Africa Center, established in 2015 by the Korean government, is tasked with deepening Korea’s knowledge of Africa by conducting in-depth research and enhancing mutual understanding through cultural and educational exchange programs, and ultimately, helping to promote Korea-Africa cooperation in various areas.
As Korea’s very first specialized governmental institution focusing solely on Africa, the Korea-Africa Center aims to accelerate the establishment of a future oriented relationship between Korea and Africa through a comprehensive database on Africa and networking opportunities with related agencies and research institutes.
I very much look forward to your support and interest in the Korea-Africa Center’s activities to forge a productive partnership between African countries which represent the promise of the 21st century and Korea, a country with the unique experience of having achieved an economic miracle in the 20th century.