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African, Korean ministers adopt plan to boost economy in 2009/2010

The second ministerial conference for Economic Cooperation between Africa and South Korea (KOAFEC) Tuesday adopted a plan of action for th e 2009/2010 period.

The plan is intended to serve as a planning tool in order to maximise synergies between Africa and Korea through a mutually beneficial cooperation.

It provides for six priority areas — sustainable development of infrastructure and natural resources; information and communication technologies; development o f human resources; sharing of experiences in the field of development drawing ins p iration from Korea’s example; agricultural development and the green growth part n ership.

Twenty-nine projects have been identified by KOAFEC officials under the plan of action, with US$ 750 million needed for their implementation.

According to the South Korean Minister of Finance and Strategy, Man-Soo Kang, th ese are “specific sectoral projects that will at first allow the attainment of t h e six development goals”.

KOAFEC noted in its plan of action that Africa’s recent economic progress should be backed by a rapid development of the infrastructure and natural resources, b o th essential to the sustainable development of the continent’s economy.

A diversified series of projects, covering the fields of transport, telecommunic ations, energy and sustainable development of natural resources, have been ident i fied.

On information and communication technology (ICT), KOAFEC noted the existence of an important potential for regional integration and economic development, addin g that the potential could be developed using support from South Korea.

Besides, the plan of action is based on the premise that unemployment remains on e the major challenges confronting the African continent.

KOAFEC also seeks to facilitate youth and non-skilled workers’ access to educati on and training, in order eventually for African countries to be in a position t o train a highly skilled workforce.

KOAFEC puts emphasis on the sharing of experience in the field of development, e specially the possibility to use as a model in various fields South Korea’s outs t anding economic results.

Agricultural and rural development were also present part of KOAFEC’s concerns, the conference considering agriculture as a major component of the economy.

it noted that, in Africa, the development of agricultural infrastructure was slo w and agricultural productivity low.

More sustainable measures need to be taken in the area of agricultural reform if the situation is to be redressed.

That is the main objective of the adopted programme, which also aims at reducing poverty through the financing of various community projects.

Another source of concern for KOAFEC is the green growth partnership, which requ ires cooperation between the various partners in order to foster an environment- f riendly economic development.

The second KOAFEC, which opened Tuesday, is scheduled to end Thursday in Seoul, the South Korean capital.

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