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For the first time since the Korean government was founded, Korea will be inviting the leaders of African nations to the 2024 Korea-Africa Summit, which will be held between June 4-5 in Ilsan and Seoul. The Summit brings to fruition the strong mutual determination between Korea and Africa to elevate their existing cooperation to a higher level. The Summit will be held under the theme of "The Future We Make Together: Shared Growth, Sustainability, and Solidarity."

At a time when the influence of the 'Global South' has never been greater, partnering with Africa, whose strategic importance is on the rise, is not a matter of choice but of necessity. In particular, Africa is a key partner for Korea in realizing its foreign policy aspiration of becoming a 'Global Pivotal State.' In this respect, there is considerable international attention being directed toward the Summit.

More so than any other continent, Africa has the youngest population and the greatest untapped potential. It has been maintaining strong economic growth rates and possesses abundant reserves of critical minerals essential for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) further underscores its emergence as a vast single market with a population of 1.4 billion and a combined GDP of 3.4 trillion US dollars. During the Summit, Korea will seek pathways towards shared growth with Africa, a driving force of global economic growth.

Tackling global challenges such as responding to climate change, ensuring food security, supply chain stability, and health security, calls for our collective strength and solidarity. At the Summit, Korea will discuss solutions together with Africa, a valued partner in fashioning responses to global challenges, with a view to facilitating sustainable development.

Africa is advancing a wide range of peace initiatives to fulfill the African Union(AU)'s vision of an integrated, prosperous, and peaceful continent, and is also speaking with one voice on the international stage. The Summit will be a significant catalyst for Korea, a peace-loving and responsible member of the international community, to participate in Africa's proactive efforts to embed peace on the continent and strengthen solidarity and cooperation with the continent on the international stage.

The relationship between Korea and Africa stands apart from Africa's relations with other countries. First of all, Korea has a unique historical experience that could offer valuable insights to African countries on their journey to prosperity. Korea is therefore well placed to forge special bonds as a country that can effectively inspire emulation for Africa's political democratization and economic development.

In addition, as a country with no history of having colonized other nations, Korea's outreach to Africa is in earnest. It is when Korea shares its development experience with a genuine heart, that it will be met with a readiness to cooperate.

The upcoming Korea-Africa Summit will set a milestone for both sides to tap into this sense of solidarity and shape a future of sustainable co-prosperity as genuine partners. I ask the Korean people for their interest and support for the Summit's success.

Cho Tae-yulChairperson of the 2024 Korea-Africa Summit Preparatory Commission
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea

장관님 사진

Cho Tae-yulMinister of Foreign Affairs