SEJONG-- African countries want South Korea to pass on its experience and know-how that allowed it to achieve miraculous economic development over the years so the continent can meet its own growth potential, a senior official from a regional development bank said Monday.
"Africa is rich in natural resources such as minerals, natural gas, oil and everything," Alberic Kacou, the vice president on human resources and corporate services at the African Development Bank (AfDB), said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency. "So there is tremendous potential in Africa."
He said the AfDB is offering a platform for African countries and partners from other part the world to seek ways to realize this potential and pull off economic growth.
The bank was established in 1964 to contribute to economic and social development by promoting investments with 54 African member states and 26 countries from other continents. South Korea joined the organization in 1984.
"So, for us and for our future, we are looking at what Korea has. You are a giant in terms of information technology," said the AfDB official from Cote d'Ivoire. "We want to be able to share this IT, and transfer the technology to Africa. So we could put that into a good use."
He said the AfDB's upcoming annual meeting to be held in South Korea's southern port city of Busan in May next year will be a good chance to learn the country's experience regarding economic development.
"We are very happy and grateful for the government of Korea that accepted to host the 53rd annual meeting of the AfDB," said Kacau, adding that the African continent respects South Korea's economic achievements -- the world's only country that has become a donor nation from a recipient of international aid.
He also expected more South Korean companies to participate in the AfDB-led infrastructure-building programs and help the African economy leapfrog through transferring of skills and technology.
"We want to see more investment made by Korean enterprises into Africa, and businesses from Africa can come to Korea," said Kacou. "(Such investment) will help enhance quality of life in Africa, and also bring jobs and employments."
He suggested South Korean youngsters work in the Abidjan-based development bank and secure big opportunities in Africa, which has much more to prove to the world.
Along with other international financial organizations like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (MF), the AfDB held job fairs in South Korea from Wednesday to Friday to recruit young talents.
"We need to translate this potential into reality to help Africa grow and come out from the state of poverty," said the AfDB vice president. "We want (young South Koreans) to go back to Korea as ambassadors and say to others not to be afraid of Africa and invest in Africa."
Source: Yonhap News Agency