SA urges Korea to quadruple developmental assistance

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pretoria - Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ebrahim Ebrahim, has urged Korea to quadruple its developmental assistance to Africa over the next three years.

This would enable Africa to realise its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which include ending poverty and hunger by 2015.

The deputy minister, speaking during a Ministerial Meeting of the Second Africa-Korea Forum on Tuesday, said the success and realisation of the commitments made in the forum could contribute significantly to the attainment of the MDGs, whose target date is in six years time.

Ebrahim believed that this could be achieved through the implementation of bankable New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) projects as well as those from the Regional Economic Communities (RECs).

"Such a move would assist in fast tracking Africa's economic integration - thus bringing a better life to all the people of Africa," he added.

He welcomed Korea's assumption of the chair of the G20 Summit to be held in 2010 and said he expected the G20 to contribute to poverty reduction and development cooperation which are central to the fulfillment of the African agenda.

"We stand ready to work with Korea to ensure that African concerns are adequately addressed when Korea host the G20 summit in the second half of 2010."

Climate change featured prominently on the agenda during the ministerial meeting.

The deputy minister said Africa was the worst affected by climate change but was the smallest contributor to green house gas emissions. He therefore urged Korea, as an African partner, to help mobilise the international community to assist Africa to mitigate the developmental challenges by the deteriorating climatic conditions.

Ebrahim further congratulated the Korean national soccer team for qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup to be played in South Africa next year.

"Accordingly, I would also like to take this opportunity to invite you all to South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This will offer us a platform to further deepen our partnership and indeed our people to people interactions," he said.