Home NewsNational “Korea-Africa Summit Long Overdue”- President Kagame [PHOTOS]

“Korea-Africa Summit Long Overdue”- President Kagame [PHOTOS]

by Edmund Kagire
11:26 am

President Kagame joins other leaders in a group photo at the first Korea-Africa Summit, in Seoul, South Korea, June 4.

President Paul Kagame says the Korea-Africa Summit which opened in Seoul, South Korea, on Tuesday June 4, has been long over due given the many years the African continent has been relating and cooperating with the Asian nation.

The Head of State joined other leaders and delivered at the first Korea-Africa Summit which is being co-chaired by President Yoon Suk Yeol of South Korea and President Mohamed El Ghazouani of Mauritania, Cheikh Ghazouani, who is the current African Union (AU) Chairperson.

The two-day summit is convening high-ranking officials from South Korea and Africa to discuss ways of fostering a better-structured and strengthened partnership between the two sides.  It is themed “The Future We Make Together: Shared Growth, Sustainability, and Solidarity.”

President Kagame reiterated the beneficial cooperation between African countries and South Korea, which in many ways should have led to the creation of the summit years ago, even though it is more timely today.

“This moment was long overdue. Korea and Africa have been relating together positively and productively. Korea is a global pivotal state, and Africa is a pivotal continent. It is only natural for us to draw closer together, in the years ahead, for many reasons,” President Kagame said.

President Kagame arrives for the summit.

“First, Korea knows the value of sovereignty and independence, as well as the struggle required to achieve accountable and inclusive politics. Those experiences allow us to look at each other eye-to-eye, with mutual respect and admiration. Second, Korea’s experience shows that a country can be radically transformed, in the course of a generation,” President Kagame said.

The Head of State reflected on the Asian nation’s development path, pointing out that Africa should learn lessons from how South Korea was able to transform itself from a low income developing country a few decades ago to the economic superpower it is today.

“Is there any explanation for why Africa has not already become a high-income continent? Africa can go much faster, and there is no better way than focusing on stability, health, education, and technology. All of this is possible, depending on how we address our governance challenges. Africa’s young people need these opportunities. It is possible,” he emphasized.

Mutual ties with Rwanda

President Kagame highlighted that partnerships between Rwanda and Korea have focused on the cutting edge of innovation, helping bring the latest technologies to the country and Africa in general more quickly.

President Kagame addresses the summit.

“This Summit serves to remind us that even more can be done. From artificial intelligence and robotics, to small modular nuclear reactors, to driving the energy transition with critical raw materials, Africa and Korea should be working side-by-side,”

“Africa has much to offer in return, notably by taking advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area. Connecting with Africa, particularly our very capable young people, will pay dividends for decades to come. Africa will be a central driver of global growth before too long, so long as we do not take our future for granted,” President Kagame said.

President Kagame emphasized the need to keep on the path of partnerships such as the one between Africa and Korea and in doing so, African countries can enhance their cooperation with South Korea on other matters of mutual concern in the global arena.

He called on countries to work together without delay to implement the Joint Declaration of the Summit, and lay the foundation for decades of closer cooperation.

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