By Bamidele Famoofo
South Korea on Wednesday announced a $5billion bilateral financial assistance package for Africa at the end of the Ministerial Roundtable of the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) Conference taking place during the African Development Bankâ€™s 53rd Annual Meetings.
The $5 billion financial assistance package will be delivered over two years through partnerships with various development agencies, including 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, African Development Bank 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 by the Bank Group. 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 $18 million.
The Trust Fund, now totaling $93 million, 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 2019-2020 destined for a diverse group of countries and sectors.
The bank and the Republic of Korea also signed an agreement for the intent to provide up to $600 million towards the energy sector.
The bank and the Government of Korea also signed an MOU 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.
At the occasion, Adesina noted that â€œAfrica needs to build, and we will build wider partnerships for development. We want to build strong investment partnerships with Asia going forward.â€