Boakai, Others Sign ‘Fruitful’ Joint Declaration -Summit Raises $10 Billion ODA to ‘Catalyze Cooperation’

MONROVIA: The Republic of South Korea has also stepped in in the scramble for Africa’s rich potential and friendship, convening for the first time ever what was dubbed Korea-Africa Business summit. Thus, on June 4, after days of deliberations, Heads of State and Government and Heads of Delegation of African countries and that country as well as the representatives of the African Union and its institutions and representative of the African Development Bank (AfDB), put pen to paper in issuing a “Joint Declaration” of the summit which success is epitomized, amongst other benefits, in a US$10 billion Official Development Assistance (ODA) as “a catalyst for project for projects for cooperation with Africa.” The Analyst reports.

Nearly 50 African countries and the government of South Korea signed a Joint Declaration at the end of the first Korea-Africa Summit, held under the theme: “The Future We Make Together: Shared Growth, Sustainability, and Solidarity”.

The 2024 Korea-Africa Summit, which was held between June 4-5 in Ilsan and Seoul, brought to fruition what the organizers described the strong mutual determination between Korea and Africa to elevate their existing cooperation to a higher level.

In order to facilitate cooperation discussed at this Summit, Korea pledged continue to expand Official Development Assistance (ODA) up to 10 billion US dollars by 2030 as a catalyst for projects for cooperation with Africa, including through the expansion of EDCF Framework Arrangement(F/A) and grants.

“Moreover, approximately 14 billion US dollars in export financing will be provided to Korean companies by 2030 to encourage their activities in Africa, thus stimulating trade and investment with Africa,” the Joint Declaration also signed by Liberia’s Joseph Nyumah Boakai averred.

To keep the momentum sustainable, the participants emphasized the importance of regularly reviewing and supporting the implementation of six the commitments made at this summit and, to this end, “we stress the need to strengthen the activities of the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) Conference and Korea-Africa Agriculture Ministers Meeting and to establish new high level consultative bodies such as the Customs Commissioners Meeting, and Chief Statisticians Meeting.”

Recognizing the importance of implementing the outcomes of this Summit, the participants tasked the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in 2026 to comprehensively evaluate the outcomes of the summit and to discuss the way forward including exploring the possibility of holding the next summit.”

The participants noted high regard for Korea-Africa relations, which started from the 1950s with the invaluable participation and support of some African countries during the Korean War, which have developed into a mutually beneficial relationship.

“We share the view that there is a need to forge a new strategic cooperation between Korea and Africa drawing upon the uniqueness of the partnership between the two sides and based on mutual trust, solidarity and similar historical experiences,” said the Joint Declaration which added that witnessing rapid changes in the international arena and the emergence of complex challenges including climate change, conflicts, food insecurity, health crises, energy crises and supply chain disruptions, which have underscored the importance of deepening international cooperation and solidarity, “we wholeheartedly welcome the timely holding of the Korea-Africa Summit.”

The summit recognized the dynamism in Korea and Africa, and the great potential for cooperation between the two sides, specifically emphasizing the importance of Korea’s efforts to support Africa’s industrialization, and the need to foster mutually beneficial trade and investment and strengthen Korean-African business partnership.

“In this context,” the delegates said, “we emphasize the need to strengthen institutional frameworks for economic cooperation such as the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), Trade and Investment Promotion Frameworks (TIPFs), Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs), and Investment Protection Agreements (IPAs), and to facilitate mutual access for each other’s products to their respective markets.”

They acknowledged the significant role of Africa for sustainable global economic development and welcomed the efforts to establish a single market and accomplish regional economic integration through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Korea welcomed African countries’ efforts for the unification of the payment system, known as the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS). Korea, being deeply aware of the importance of international trade, is willing to share the lessons learned from the experience of concluding a number of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), in particular to help in building the capacity of customs authorities and establishing One-stop Origin Management System (OOMS) as part of the efforts to strengthen economic cooperation with the African continent to a higher level.

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