South Korea, one of the most advanced economies in Asia, has set its eyes on the African continent to expand its investment opportunities. Indeed, according to The Korea Herald, South Korea will expand economic cooperation with African countries and promote local businesses’ advancement into the continent.
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho said, “The nation is seeking to find new trading partners in Africa, whose growth is big,” while discussing operation plans for the Economic Development Cooperation Fund in Seoul.
South Korea has been increasing its investments in Africa in recent years. In 2020, Korean foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa reached $1.3 billion, up from $800 million in 2010. Korean investments in Africa are concentrated in a few key sectors, including:
Mining: South Korean companies are active in the mining sector in Africa, particularly in the extraction of minerals such as copper, cobalt, and iron ore.
Manufacturing: Korean companies are also investing in manufacturing in Africa, particularly in the production of electronics, appliances, and automobiles.
Infrastructure: South Korea is also investing in infrastructure in Africa, such as roads, bridges, and power plants.
Energy: South Korea is also investing in the energy sector in Africa, particularly in renewable energy projects.
As a matter of fact, Tanzania and South Korea have established that would merge startups in both countries, according to Business Insider Africa. The Tanzania Startup Association (TSA) and the Korean Startup Forum (KSF) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to champion a mutually beneficial partnership between both parties. The signing of the agreement was signed in South Korea on June 20, 2023, and witnessed by the Tanzanian ambassador Mr. Togolani Mavura. This partnership is intended to bolster businesses in Tanzania and bring in Korean businesses to the East African country.
South Korea is also keen to invest in Niger. According to North Africa Post, Chey Tae-won “Anthony,” Chairman of SK Group, Inc., and President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger talked about possibilities for Korean investments in the West African country in several areas, including energy, oil, mining, hydraulics, and infrastructure.
South Korea understands the economic opportunities that the African continent has to offer. As it increases its investments in the continent, it also asserts itself as a direct competitor to China, which remains the largest Asian investor in Africa.
It is undeniable that South Korea's investments in Africa are having a positive impact on the continent. They are creating jobs, stimulating economic growth, and helping to improve infrastructure. South Korea's engagement with Africa is likely to continue to grow in the years to come.