By Kim Sung-min
“The fourth of April, for Senegalese citizens, is a moment of remembrance and commemoration. On this solemn day, it is a duty to remember all our compatriots, famous or anonymous who fought, sometimes at the cost of their lives, for the independence of Senegal. I also pay tribute to all the leaders who have been at the helm of the State and laid the foundation for the economic and social development of our dear country.”
This statement was made by Ambassador Mamadou Ndiaye of Senegal in Seoul at a reception he and Mrs. Ndiaye hosted at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on April 17, 2017.
In the speech he made on the occasion of the reception in celebration of the 57th Independence Day of Senegal, Ambassador Ndiaye also noted that with the support of Korea, the Senegalese Government will implement two important projects in the new City of Diamniadio, one for the Vocational Training Institute funded by KOICA and the other for the National Oncology Center. Then he said, “The bilateral cooperation is spreading to new sectors such as cyber security and aeronautics industry thanks to our partnerships with Korea Internet Security Agency and Korea Aerospace Industries, respectively.”
Ambassador Ndiaye said, “Between 2015 and 2016, the volume of our bilateral trade went from 209 million to 325 million USD, a considerable increase of 64.3%.” (See excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Ndiaye toward the end of this article.)
In response to the speech of Ambassador Ndiaye, Deputy Minister Cho June-hyuck of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said: “Korea and Senegal have continued to foster their ties of friendship and cooperation in various fields since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1962. Considering the importance of Senegal and its strong will to development, Korea is very happy to cooperate with Senegal as a priority partner for our development cooperation. By implementing the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), we expect the development assistance towards Senegal will be delivered in an effective and efficient manner.” (See excerpts from the speech of Deputy Minister Cho at the end of this article.)
The reception was attended by many Korean and international guests as well as the ambassadors and other senior members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps (SDC) accompanied by their spouses.
Among the guests in attendance were Deputy Minister Cho June-hyuck of MOFA for Public Relations, Rep. Yi Wan-young (chairman of the Korea-Senegal Parliamentary Committee) and leaders from various segments of Korean society including the mass communications, including Vice Chairman Choe Nam-suk of The Korea Post media.
Attendance from the SDS was very large and included Ambassadors Albino Malungo of Angola, Md. Zulfiqur Rahman of Bangladesh, Dato Mohd Rosli Sabtu of Brunei Darussalam, Petar Andonov of Bulgaria, Fernando Danus of Chile, Sylvestre Kouassi Bile of Cote d'Ivoire, Hany Moawad Selim Labib of Egypt, Fabien Penone of France, Carlos Victor Boungou of Gabon, Adel Mohammad Adaileh of Jordan, Mohamed Abdi Gello of Kenya, Peteris Vaivars of Latvia, Mohamed Salim Alharthy of Oman, Andrew Yamanea of Papua New Guinea, Irineo Raul Silvero Silvagni of Paraguay, Antonio Quintero Nobre of Portugal, Emma-Francoise Isumbingabo of Rwanda, Omrie Michael Golley of Sierra Leone, Yip Wei Kiat of Singapore, Milan Lajciak of Slovak Republic, Nozuko Gloria Bam of South Africa, Mohamad Abdelaal of Sudan, Anne Hogulund of Sweden, Linus von Castelmur of Switzerland, Mohamed Ali Nafti of Tunisia, and Myrat Mammetalyyev of Mumba Smyth Kapumpa of Zambia.
Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Ndiaye:
At the outset, I would like to warmly thank you for gracing us with your presence at this reception to mark the 57th anniversary of Senegal’s accession to independence. I extend my sincere gratitude to the Korean Government for kindly sending a representative in the person of Mr. Cho June-hyuck, Deputy Minister for Public Relations and Spokesperson of MOFA, and to the Honorable Yi Wan-young, Member of the Parliament and Chairman of the Korea-Senegal Parliamentary Committee.
April 4 is, for Senegalese citizens, a moment of remembrance and commemoration.
On this solemn day, it is a duty to remember all our compatriots, famous or anonymous who fought, sometimes at the cost of their lives, for the independence of Senegal. I also pay tribute to all the leaders who have been at the helm of the State and laid the foundation for the economic and social development of our dear country.
The celebration of the Independence Day is also a time to express our pride.
Indeed, the Senegalese people can be proud of building, in fifty-seven years, a nation that is stable, democratic and emerging, within an increasingly united and vibrant African Continent.
Under the leadership of President Macky Sall, Senegal has achieved remarkable economic and social progress which indicates that the future holds promise for the country. As an illustration, over the past three years, the GDP growth rate has been steadily increasing and reached 6.7% in 2016, which made it one of the highest rates in Africa.
It is fortunate that this growth is actually shared and has resulted in the implementation of policies with high social impact such as the Emergency Community Development Program. Under this program, the Government is striving to reinforce the volume and quality of rural infrastructure to enhance inclusive development and reduce inequalities between urban and rural areas.
It is in keeping with the philosophy of shared growth that the Government has set up a Strategic Committee for oil and gas in order to ensure a sound and sustainable management of the oil and gas resources discovered recently and whose exploitation is expected to start no later than 2022.
The establishment of this Committee comes in addition to Senegal’s membership, since October 2013, of the Extractive Industries for Transparency Initiative (EITI), which gives representatives of the media and civil society organizations, inter alia, a right to examine and a right to information on the management of natural resources.
Senegal is also implementing major infrastructure projects. The opening of the new international airport is expected towards the end of this year and the Thiès-Touba Highway project is underway while the construction of a Government complex has just started and will soon allow the relocation of about twelve ministries in the new satellite City of Diamniadio. Similarly, the Regional Express Train project, awarded to the French company Alsthom following an open international bidding process, was launched in December, 2016.
This gives me the opportunity to announce that, with the support of the Republic of Korea, the Government will implement two important projects in the new City of Diamniadio. These projects are the Vocational Training Institute funded by KOICA, which will be launched in May 2017, and the National Oncology Center for which the feasibility study is being finalized by the Senegalese Ministry of Health and Korea Eximbank.
I take this opportunity to thank KOICA and Korea Eximbank for the quality of their collaboration with the Government of Senegal.
With regard to Korea Eximbank, in particular, I am pleased to inform that the second phase of the Maritime Infrastructure and Equipment Project will be launched next week.
In addition to these welcome developments, the bilateral cooperation is spreading to new sectors such as cyber security and aeronautics industry thanks to our partnerships with Korea Internet Security Agency (KISA) and Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) respectively.
In the same vein, a delegation of Korea Rural Community Corporation is currently visiting Senegal to discuss partnership opportunities with the Ministry of Agriculture.
I cannot fail to mention with satisfaction that between 2015 and 2016, the volume of our bilateral trade went from 209 million to 325 million USD, a considerable increase of 64.3%.
In conclusion, I would like to acknowledge the presence tonight of the members of the Korea-Senegal Association of Gyeongsangbuk Province and the Korea-Senegal for Trade, Industry and Culture. I also salute and thank the president of the Saemaul Globalization Foundation of Gyeongsangbuk-do who is presently leading a successful campaign in Senegal to promote the Saemaul Undong movement.
I renew my gratitude to you all who joined us this evening and I thank you for your kind attention.
Excerpts from the congratulatory speech of Vice Minister Cho June-hyuck:
I am delighted and honored to be here at this reception on the meaningful occasion to celebrate the 57th anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Senegal.
On behalf of the people and the Government of the Republic of Korea, I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to the people and the Government of Senegal.
Since its independence, Senegal has emerged as a leading country on the African continent. In particular, Dakar, the capital city of Senegal and also famous for the “Dakar Rally”, plays a crucial role as the center of commerce today.
On this meaningful day I find my mind turning to the first president of the Republic of Senegal - Mr. Léopold Sedar Senghor. A brilliant poet and a Nobel Prize nominee, Mr. Senghor) was one of the most important intellectuals of the African continent in the 20th century. As president of the Republic of Senegal, he also launched proud tradition of presidential visit to Korea, which was maintained by all of his successors.
Korea and Senegal have continued to foster their ties of friendship and cooperation in various fields since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1962. Considering the importance of Senegal and its strong will to development, Korea is very happy to cooperate with Senegal as a priority partner for our development cooperation. By implementing the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), we expect the development assistance towards Senegal will be delivered in an effective and efficient manner. The two car-ferries “Aguène” and “Diambogne” built with financial support from our Government, link Dakar and Ziguinchor in the Southern part of the territory. Together they contribute to a balanced regional growth of Senegal.
I look forward to further deepening this bilateral relationship. Together we can make sure that it is a friendship that endures.
Before concluding, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Ambassador Ndiaye and his staff at the Senegalese embassy for their hard work in organizing this meaningful event and for inviting me.
Once again, I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to the people of Senegal on the 57th anniversary of the Independence Day.
(For further details on the article, call Kim Sung-min at 010-9205-0200)