By Asmau Ahmad
The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Government of Korea have signed a $28.6 million dollars grant to boost Africa’s development agenda.
The AfDB in a statement on its website on Saturday said the funding complemented 600 million dollars co-financing under the Korea-Africa Energy Investment Framework, agreed with the Korean government in 2021.
According to the statement, the framework supports African countries to build human capacity and develop their energy sectors.
The agreements were signed in Busan, during the 7th Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation Ministerial Conference (KOAFEC), which is being co-hosted by the Bank and Korea.
The statement said the new funding would primarily support energy access, agricultural transformation, and knowledge and capacity-building across a number of African countries.
It said the amount would be disbursed to the AfDB Group in three instalments of 4.6 million dollars in 2023, and 24 million dollars in 2024 and 2025.
The AfDB Group President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, and Korea’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance, Kyungho Choo, signed the first agreement for 28.6 million dollars.
Korea’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance, described Korea as “a true partner for African countries.”
Choo further said that the government would do its best to contribute to Africa’s sustainable growth and development.
Meanwhile, the AfDB president said Korea’s additional funding was timely, especially as the nation celebrated the 40th anniversary of joining the Bank.
Adesina commended the government for its commitment to a strong partnership between the AfDB and Korea.
“Korea’s relationship with Africa is unique. There is a lot to learn from Korea which moved from a poor country relying on aid, to a donor country within a single generation,” he added.
The statement said the second agreement was signed by AfDB’s Chief Economist and Vice President, Kevin Urama, and Commissioner of Statistics Korea, Hyoung il Lee, on behalf of their institutions.
It said under the agreement with Statistics Korea, the two institutions would collaborate to raise statistical awareness and share new data sources and methods to improve statistical quality, including big data.
It said the agreement document identified areas for possible cooperation, such as AfDB’s Africa Information Highway for evidence-based decision-making.
The Africa Information Highway is a mega-network of live open data platforms electronically linking all African countries and 16 regional organisations.
The AfDB’s figures indicate that the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation Trust Fund is the largest of the Bank’s active bilateral trust funds in terms of contributions received and portfolio size.
The fund, which had received 108 million dollars in contributions as of Dec. 31, 2022, had financed 203 projects since its inception.