South Korea Wants Tech Cooperation In African Transportation And Agriculture

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli

South Korea wants to be more involved in Africa’s tech scene, especially the green economy, urban transportation and agriculture, boosting cooperation via an official agreement with the African Development Bank, according to Afrik21.

The first project involves drone technology in Tunisia to gather data and improve agricultural production.

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South Korea has been involved in discussions with Kenya and Egypt regarding tech cooperation.

The Korea-Africa Cooperation fund has launched and funded a pilot project in Tunisia using drone technology to develop agriculture in cooperation with the African Development Bank, Busan Metropolitan City and the Busan Techno Park, according to ITWebAfrica.

The project allows for data collection and analysis, monitoring irrigated perimeters, aquifers, effects of climate change, land degradation, biodiversity, filling and siltation of dams, and overall agricultural production.

tech cooperation
South Korean drone technology is used to analyze farms and monitor the effects of climate change in Tunisia. Photo – AP – Alex Brandon

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and the Kenyan government agreed to establish the Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Konza city, according to TechinAfrica. The institute is expected to launch in 2022 with around 330 students and a focus on technology, science, and innovation.

This week a South Korean delegation consisting of the country’s biggest companies visited Egypt to scout out a center for technology localization, where South Korean products can be manufactured and exported to Arab and African countries, according to Ahramonline. A joint technical committee will study prospects for cooperation in renewable energy, electronics and transport.

China and Russia have long realized the strategic importance of Africa and the business opportunities that the continent holds. South Korea has been slower to commit to Africa, but now seems eager to boost cooperation, making a real effort in recent years.

Funding tech cooperation

In May 2018, South Korea announced a $5 billion financial package for Africa through the African Development Bank and other partners aimed at boosting long-term planning for industrial development and the execution of projects, according to CNBCAfrica.

The Bank and the South Korean government also agreed to provide up to $600 million towards the energy sector.

The South Korean government said it will create jobs, improve infrastructure and strengthen relations between Korea and African countries.

A cooperative agreement will include transfer of technologies to Africa in sectors including the green economy and intelligent urban transport management, according to ITNewsAfrica.

Tunisian officials visited Seoul this month as the South Korean government announced plans to expand tech cooperation with Africa.