President Yoon holds relay talks with 10 African leaders

To strengthen customized cooperation and discuss issues of mutual interest

By Diplomacy Journal Lee Jon-young


President Yoon Suk-yeol on June 3 held a series of bilateral meetings with African leaders who are in South Korea for the Korea-Africa Summit to discuss issues of mutual interest.


From morning to afternoon, Yoon held bilateral talks with the leaders of 10 African countries, according to the presidential office.



In the morning, Yoon held separate meetings with six African leaders:  Lesotho Prime Minister Ntsokoane Samuel Matekane, Côte d'Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara, Mauritius President Prithvirajsing Roopun, Zimbabwe President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, Togo President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé, and Rwanda President Paul Kagame.

In the afternoon, President Yoon held bilateral meetings with four heads of state, including Mozambique's President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, São Tomé and Príncipe's President Carlos Manuel Vila Nova, Guinea-Bissau's President Umaro Sissoco Embalo, and Cape Verde's President Jose Maria Pereira Neves.


President Yoon welcomed the leaders to South Korea for the Korea-Africa Summit and expressed his expectations for expanded cooperation with these countries.


The African leaders “expressed their appreciation for President Yoon's leadership in opening the door for genuine communication between South Korea and African countries by organizing the historic Korea-Africa Summit,” according to the presidential office.


“Korea has been steadily promoting exchanges and cooperation with Africa for more than half a century,” President Yoon said during the meeting. “With this Summit, we will strive for shared growth and strengthen mutually beneficial and customized cooperation in various fields such as energy, infrastructure, key minerals, and agriculture.


“This Summit is an expression of Korea's determination to fulfill our responsibilities and contributions to the international community as a global pivotal country.”


President Yoon also emphasized that the theme of the summit, “Creating a Future Together - Shared Growth, Sustainability, and Solidarity,” provides the guiding principles and direction for South Korea to pursue win-win cooperation with Africa under the vision of a global pivotal nation.


In response, African leaders said that Korea's success story of rising from the ruins of war to achieve economic prosperity is a great inspiration for Africa's development plans and expressed their desire to learn from Korea as they expand their cooperation with the country.


President Yoon also expressed his expectation that the summit will further promote the activities of Korean companies in Africa and asked for the support and interest of the heads of state.


The African leaders also expressed their hope that Korean companies with excellent technology will increase their interest in Africa and continue to contribute to Africa's economic and social development.