“Korea’s exceptional economic transformation was made possible by its export oriented development strategy, based on rapid industrialization. Sharing the experience of Korea’s economic development could play a key role helping African countries capitalize on the opportunity of the 4th Industrial Revolution to reduce the technology gap and to eradicate poverty.”
So said Ambassador Albino Malungo of Angola, dean of the African Group of Ambassadors, in his speech deliver4ed at a reception hosted by the African ambassadors at the Millennium Seoul on June 20, 2018 Hilton on the occasion of the 2018 Africa Day.
Ambassador Malungo then stated that although Africa has enjoyed strong economic growth for almost two decades, it has not seen a commensurate rise in industrialization. “On average,” cited Ambassador Malungo, “African industries generate US$700 of GDP per capita, less than a third of that in Latin America at US$2,500 and barely a fifth of that, in East Asia, at US$3400.” Then he said: “In addition, African exports consist of low-tech products and unprocessed natural resources that represent more than 80% of exports in many of the continent’s largest economies. Africa still accounts for just 1.9% of global value-added manufacturing--a share that has not risen in decades, despite the economic resilience evidenced by the GDP performances.” (See excerpts from his speech at the end of this report.)
His address was followed by a congratulatory speech by Vice Minister Cho Hyun of Foreign Affairs of Korea and a toast and celebration remarks by the President Kwon Oh-kyu of the Africa-Korea Economic Development Association.
An estimated 500 Korean and international dignitaries attended the function, as well as the ambassadors and their spouses.
Among the members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps attending the party were Ambassadors Chafik Rachadi of Morocco, Wylbur Chisiya Simuusa of Zambia, Michael Reiterer of European Union, Irineo Raúl Silvero Silvagni of Paraguay, Abida Islam of Bangladesh, Mohamed Salim Alharthy, Mohamed Abdelaal of Sudan, Nabih El Abed of Tunisia and Adel Mohammad Adaileh of Jordan.
There were many distinguished Korean celebrities attending the reception who represented various segments of Korean society, who included Vice Minister Cho Hyun of the ministry of foreign affairs, Chairman Kwon O-kyu of Africa-Korea Economic Development Association, Kim Gyu Whan of National Assembly's Forum for Africa's new Era and 20th National Assembly Member.
From the mass communications media came a number of publishers and editors, who included Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media, which own and operate five media outlets, 3 in English and 2 in the Korean-language.
Excerpts from the address by Ambassador Albino Malungo of Angola:
I am honored to welcome you all this evening to celebrate Africa Day organized by the Africa Group of Ambassadors. I sincerely thank you all for joining us tonight to celebrate and make this evening memorable.
Honorable Vice Minister, it is a great pleasure to have you here.
I would like to take a moment to thank the Federation of Korea Industries, Korea-Africa Foundation and the Africa Group of Ambassadors who generously sponsored the events, organized this year to mark Africa Day in Seoul.
I would also like to thank members of the Africa New Era Forum at the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, particularly, Honorable Mr. Ju-Young Lee for his commitment to strength friendship ties and enhance Korea-Africa strategic partnership.
I would like to take this opportunity to salute President Moon Jae-In administration’s key role on the successful Inter-Korea summit that took place on April 27th and May 26th 2018, as well as the North Korea-United State summit held in Singapore on June 12th 2018. This latest development led to the signing of the document confirming the shared commitment towards complete denuclearization and long lasting peace in the Korea Peninsula.
Today we are celebrating the 55th anniversary of the launch of the Organization of African Unity on May 25 1963, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. For many years this day has always represented a celebration of Africa unity. On this day, we acknowledge the successes of the continental organization in the fight against colonialism and apartheid as well as the progress that Africa has made while reflecting upon the challenges that the continent faces in the global arena.
Celebrating Africa Day gives an opportunity to remember the historical achievements of the Pan-Africanists and the founding fathers of the continental organization. We pay tribute to the heroes and heroines of our continent who sacrificed their lives to defeat colonialism and apartheid in defense of the sovereignty, human rights and dignity of the African people.
To achieve its full potential, Africa’s development trajectory over the next 50 years must be anchored on inclusive growth, sustainable development and structural transformation. The African Union is focused on propelling African states towards peace and prosperity by promoting and supporting economic integration among member states as a pathway to sustainable development.
On 21 March 2018, 44 African countries signed the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Kigali, Rwanda. The AfCFTA is one of the flagship projects of Africa Agenda 2063, which is a long term development program urging for closer African integration by facilitating the flow of goods and people throughout the continent. The AfCFTA is expected to boost economic growth and attract investment from both within Africa and the world. The AfCFTA illustrates Africa’s desire to work together and collaborate with the
rest of the world to build a better future and create sustainable development for itself and the world as a whole.
On the other hand, efforts to ensure greater transparency in governments are increasingly paying off all over Africa, in order to solidify the continents political commitment towards a corruption-free, citizen driven and democratically governed Africa, as envisaged by Agenda 2063. The African Union Assembly has declared July 11th as the African Anti-Corruption day and 2018 as the African Anti-Corruption year under the theme “ Winning the fight Against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation.”
Although Africa has enjoyed strong economic growth for almost two decades, it has not seen a commensurate rise in industrialization. On average, African industries generate US$700 of GDP per capita, less than a third of that in Latin America at US$2,500 and barely a fifth of that, in East Asia, at US$3400. In addition, African exports consist of low-tech products and unprocessed natural resources that represent more than 80% of exports in many of the continent’s largest economies. Africa still accounts for just 1.9% of global value-added manufacturing--a share that has not risen in decades, despite the economic resilience evidenced by the GDP performances.
Korea’s exceptional economic transformation was made possible by its export-oriented development strategy, based on rapid industrialization. Sharing the experience of Korea’s economic development could play a key role helping African countries capitalize on the opportunity of the 4th Industrial Revolution to reduce the technology gap and to eradicate poverty.
The Government of Korea successfully held the 6th Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation Conference (2018 KOAFEC) which took place alongside the 53rd AfDB Annual meeting in Busan last month. Under the theme: Africa and the 4th Industrial Revolution: Opportunities for Leap-frogging.” 2018 KOAFEC proved to be a huge success as the partners agreed to strengthen friendship and cooperative partnership for mutual economic development. This year’s conference was particularly well suited as an opportunity. To build a more inclusive partnership which includes not only economic cooperation but also cultural exchange between Korea and African countries.
This is an occasion to celebrate the long and abiding bonds shared by the people of Korea and the peoples of the continent of Africa., and to reflect on all the opportunities and challenges that lie before us.
The peoples of our nations share a common past, born of so many parallel historical experiences such as colonialization and the struggle to preserve and remake our native cultures
Today, we share a common destiny, one full of so much potential and so many possibilities and a determination to create a just, prosperous and sustainable future for our peoples.
Tonight, we celebrate Africa’s many great achievements and we look forward to even greater future. Let me thank you once again for your presence.