Africa

South Korea expresses Interest in Africa

Diplomatic Battle between North and South Korea over Africa

June 08th, 2016
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President of South Korea, Geun-hue, visited Africa from May 25th to 31st to counter the presence of North Korea in Africa using diplomatic means. Indeed, instead of competing on the battle field, the states both chose to develop partnerships with many different African countries, such Uganda.

During her visit, the South Korean president referenced the strong similarities between South Korea and Africa. Both are embroiled in complicated political situations, however both can succeed in solving their problems and be a key actor in driving economic growth. South Korea is a miracle, it received international help for years yet is now one a major donor to other nations. South Korea could be a great inspiration and a partner for Africa. 'Africa is the last key driver of growth in the world.

Judging by the improvement of political stability, high economic growth and the expected growth of the middle-class, many countries try to benefit from the potential of this continent' said Kim Kyou-hyun, the main secretary of the charge d'affaires to the South Korea president. In fact, since 2011, South Korea has pursued a policy of active cooperation with Africa.

The investments from South Korea come from organisations such as Korea international Cooperation Agency, financing agricultural projects in twenty-one African countries, or private companies like Samsung. For instance, Samsung tripled its sales in Africa in under two years. The company is now thinking of producing in Africa and extending its presence in no less than thirty-six African countries.

South Korean policy in Africa is dominated by a strong will to introduce their products to the African continent, securing their petrol exportations but also countering North Korea's influence through soft power. Indeed, North Korea has numerous agreements with Uganda for instance, one of the three countries that the president of South Korea visited during her tour. It would appear that South Korea's visit was a diplomatic success: President Park Geun-hye left Uganda with agreements worth 350 000 dollars of military supplies.

Rivalries between South and North Korea are obviously still very vivid, however they are now disputed on the diplomatic field, thus improving international dialogue and cooperation.

References

Cultural Diplomacy News
Julie Essertel, CD News