At the opening ceremony of the 53rdAnnual Meeting of the African Development Bank, President of the Republic of Korea, Moon Jae-in announced his commitment to sharing South Korea’s technological and industrial experience with Africa to enable the continent to compete in the 4th industrial revolution.
He said: “Africa is no longer the sleeping lion. Korea is happy to share its industrial experience with the continent.”
The Republic of Korea, otherwise known as South Korea is famous for its remarkable rise from being one of the poorest countries in the world to a developed, high-income country.
President of AfDB, Akinwumi Adesina said at the ceremony: “Today, Samsung and LG Television and phones dominate globally, while Korean cars are everywhere. Korea was consistent in its industrial drive like China and Japan. Africa must learn from Korea’s industrialisation and the equally remarkable experiences of China and Japan and other parts of the world.”
He added: “Africa must fast-track industrialisation. That is why the African Development Bank plans to invest $35billion over the next 10 years in its focus on industrialisation.”
The bank’s industrialisation strategy hopes to help Africa raise its industrial GDP from a little over $700 billion today to over $1.72 trillion by 2030. This will allow Africa’s GDP to rise to over $5.6trillion, while moving GDP per capita to over $3.350.
Adesina additionally expressed that young Africans can play a significant role in the industrial development of the continent citing the example of Rwanda’s Clarisse Iribagiza.
The Republic of Korea’s Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Strategy & Finance, Dong-yeon Kim, said a new approach was urgently needed. He stressed the need for innovative industrialisation to translate Africa’s potential into economic prosperity.
“Industrialisation policy should take into account the unique conditions of each country. New technologies can provide leapfrogging opportunities by speeding up the industrialisation process and creating new value.”
To further unlock potential through investment, the African Development Bank has created the Africa Investment Forum, a transactional platform created by the bank with its partners to leverage global pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, and other institutional investors to significantly invest in Africa. This new investment marketplace will set sail from November 7-9, 2018 from Johannesburg, South Africa.
AfDB President Adesina added: “The formula for the wealth of nations is clear: rich nations add value to all they produce; poor nations simply export raw materials. Africa needs to industrialise and add value to everything that it produces – from agriculture, to minerals, to oil, gas and metals. Africa needs to move from the bottom to the top of the global value chains.”
The Korean government’s decision to share their experience and knowledge will be invaluable to Africa’s growing potential.