- South Korean President, Lee Myung-bak, has pledged to more than double aid to Africa over the next three years at the second Korea-Africa Forum.
South Korea currently provides some US$100 million in development assistance to African nations, which accounts for over 18 percent of Korea's official development assistance.
Speaking at a summit in Seoul today with Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade at Cheong Wa Dae, President Lee said Korea will help Senegal develop its agricultural, social services and educational sectors.
The two leaders also agreed to strengthen economic exchanges between their countries, of which bilateral trade has more than doubled to nearly $50 million last year compared to 2005 according to local reports.
President Wade praised Seoul's efforts to improve its overall relations with African nations, while President Lee said Seoul, which will hold a G20 Summit next November, will work to promote Africa's interests at the economic forum.
Foreign Ministry data says investment by Korean companies in Senegal have reached about $500,000.
Korea and Senegal first struck diplomatic relations in 1962.
This year, the Korea –Africa forum is expected to focus on the threat of climate change and ways of promoting greener economic growth.
Africa, rich in natural resources, has emerged as an area of interest for Korea, which depends almost entirely on external sources of energy. Korea's trade with the region reached almost $14 billion last year, with exports increasing almost 14 percent to $9.4 billion, according to official Korean statistics.
South Korea has set its aims to participate in development ventures for energy and other natural resources in Africa.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.