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Lesotho pledges collaboration with Korea

Business

Staff Reporter

Prime Minister Ntsokoane Samuel Matekane this week expressed Lesotho’s commitment to collaborating with Korea and other African countries to tackle pressing global issues such as climate change, food insecurity, health challenges, and the energy crisis.

Matekane stressed the importance of sustainable interventions to navigate the uncertainties of the modern world while maintaining relevance in the global context.

“The world has increasingly become unpredictable. Our countries have to quickly navigate the scourges of the global challenges by adopting sustainable interventions that will see them staying relevant in this new global context,” Matekane said.

He was speaking at the 2024 Korea-Africa Summit.

On Tuesday, the summit took place in Ilsan where African heads of delegations and heads of Africa-related international organisations participated under the theme of “The Future We Make Together: Shared Growth, Sustainability, and Solidarity.”

On Wednesday, the 2024 Korea-Africa Business Summit took place in Seoul where heads of state or government and business leaders of Korea and Africa jointly participated.

In a joint declaration, the leaders stated that to facilitate cooperation discussed at the summit, Korea will continue to expand Official Development Assistance (ODA) up to 10 billion US dollars by 2030 as a catalyst for projects for cooperation with Africa, including through the expansion of EDCF Framework Arrangement(F/A) and grants.

Moreover, approximately 14 billion US dollars in export financing will be provided to Korean companies by 2030 to encourage their activities in Africa, thus stimulating trade and investment with Africa.

They emphasised the importance of regularly reviewing and supporting the implementation of the commitments made at the summit and, to this end, they stressed the need to strengthen the activities of the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) Conference and Korea-Africa Agriculture Ministers Meeting and to establish new high-level consultative bodies such as the Customs Commissioners Meeting, and Chief Statisticians Meeting.

“Recognising the importance of implementing the outcomes of this Summit, we task the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in 2026 to comprehensively evaluate the outcomes of this summit and to discuss the way forward including exploring the possibility of holding the next summit,” the declaration read.

Matekane said Lesotho embraces the vision of the Korea-Africa Summit, which envisions a future where Korea and African countries collaborate to foster sustainable development, solidarity, and shared growth.

“This Summit presents an excellent opportunity to engage in a partnership grounded in mutual respect and shared values while working together to address global challenges’” he said.

“Our commitment to this vision underscores our belief in a collaborative approach to development that benefits all nations and creates a lasting legacy of peace and prosperity,” he added.

Matekane further stated that for Africa to free itself from the shackles of poverty, structural transformation through rapid industrialialisation and diversification should be a priority as envisaged by the African Union Agenda 2063.

He said the transformation of the Republic of Korea to an industrial powerhouse should, therefore, be an inspiration to leaders in Africa as they seek to transform their economies.

“We are therefore looking forward to exchanging policy ideas and seeking ways to accelerate cooperation on industrialization with the Republic of Korea for mutual benefit,” he said.

He explained that equally important and cross-cutting is the energy sector.

“Sustainable cooperation is imperative in fully utilizing environmentally friendly sources of energy. Lesotho for instance, is richly endowed with hydro, solar and wind energy resources which makes it the potential Southern African Power Pool,” he said.

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