By Idris Abdulrahman
South Korea government has committed to assist the African nations to achieve rapid industrialisation by facilitating the growth of smart infrastructure in the continent.
The country is also committed to facilitating development financing, knowledge sharing programmes and private sector partnerships to boost industrialisation in Africa.
Korea’s Deputy Prime Minister Yeon Kim, said at the formal opening of the Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Busan, a port city and second largest city of the country.
He said in spite of strong evidence of Africa’s flourishing growth and imminent huge potentials for industrial revolution, it had not attained the height of development due to several factors.
Kim, who doubles as the country’s Minister of Strategy and Finance, said Africa needed unique conditions, tailored strategies and a new approach to technology and favourable structural factors to drive its transformation ,
He explained that the continent also needed inclusive growth and fiscal inclusion to development and general growth, especially people-driven development.
The minister assured Africa that it would provide support for innovative solutions, including customised drones to help African countries develop faster.
The African Union Chairperson, President Paul Kegame of Rwanda, in a message, said Africa’s trend of exporting raw and unprocessed materials should be changed through political commitment, effective public service and committed private sector development .
Kegame, who was represented by a top official of Rwanda, Mr Edward Ngerika, thanked Korea for hosting the programmes, and added that “Korea is a strong and reliable partner with Africa”.
In a keynote address, the AFDB President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, urged African countries to build global competitiveness, highly skilled labour and prepare the youth for future challenges of modern business and scientific endeavours.
He promised that the bank was ready to support the private sector, develope capital markets and partner with the South-South Cooperation on exchange of resources, technology and knowledge between developing countries and with the North South Cooperation.
Adesina said the bank was also eager to create the next generation of agripreneurs (agricultural innovators and entrepreneurs), adding that bank was investing in the creation of Staple Crop Processing Zones to attract hard and soft infrastructure for rapid transformation.
He said successful zones were expected to boost high quality businesses, job creation and family incomes.
The five-day meetings, with the theme “Accelerating Africa’s industrialisation”, is being hosted by Korea, one of the non-regional members of AfDB through the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC).