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South Korea pledges major aid to Somalia at Africa summit

Thursday June 6, 2024

Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre (left) shakes hands with South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo (right) during a meeting in Seoul to discuss strengthening bilateral relations and cooperation. This meeting followed the inaugural South Korea–Africa Summit. Photo credit: Office of the Prime Minister, Somalia.

SEOUL, South Korea (HOL) — South Korea has committed to aiding Somalia's development efforts. The announcement followed a high-level meeting between Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre and his South Korean counterpart, Han Duck-soo, in Seoul following the inaugural South Korea–Africa Summit. The meeting emphasized the importance of a partnership centred on mutual benefit, focusing on handicrafts, skills development, economic infrastructure, and technology.

"The Prime Minister of South Korea, Han Duck-soo, has promised that his country will assist Somalia in developing essential services to benefit the Somali community," stated a news release from the Office of Prime Minister Barre.

"The meeting signals a positive step towards increased partnership and understanding between Somalia and South Korea, highlighting the significance of strong international relations."

The bilateral meeting came on the heels of the South Korea–Africa Summit, where Prime Minister Barre participated alongside leaders from 48 African nations, the African Union, and the African Development Bank. The summit, themed "The Future We Make Together: Shared Growth, Sustainability, and Solidarity," addressed crucial global issues such as climate change, food shortages, and health crises.

At the summit's opening, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol announced substantial new aid and investment support for Africa, signalling a boost in trade ties with the continent. This strategic engagement reflects Africa's critical role in the global economy, with its 1.4 billion population and $3.1 trillion GDP. South Korea's involvement is particularly significant as it recently joined the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member and became a NATO partner.

During the summit, Prime Minister Barre delivered a speech highlighting investment opportunities in Somalia and the government's efforts in security, economic development, and social affairs. He also held separate meetings with other African leaders to discuss Somalia's situation and potential collaborations.

Other African nations also secured significant commitments from South Korea. Tanzania and Ethiopia announced loan agreements totalling billions of dollars for infrastructure, science and technology, health, and urban development. These deals provide South Korea access to Africa's critical mineral resources and vast export markets.


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