South Korean President Arrives in Ethiopia
South Korean president Park Geun-hye arrived in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on Wednesday night – the first stop on her three-nation visit to East Africa.
The South Korean leader is scheduled to meet with Ethiopian officials on Thursday and deliver a speech at the African Union on Friday – the first for a South Korean president.
Agreements expected to be signed
Ethiopian officials have said agreements over air service, health security, environment and transport are expected to be signed during Park’s stay in Ethiopia.
“Korean health and supplementary food projects will also be inaugurated in her presence. In addition, a business-to-business forum is expected to take place in the capital city to connect Ethiopian investors with their South Korean counterparts,” said Tewolde Mulugeta, spokesman for the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry.
Bilateral ties are deeply rooted between South Korea and Ethiopia. The African nation sent troops to fight in the Korean War during the 1950’s, as part of the US -led United Nations force. Since then, South Korea has supported Ethiopia in various development projects, while other organisations have assisted hundreds of relatives of Ethiopian soldiers who fought in the Korean War.
Developing nations look to South Korea
South Korea is looked upon as an example to follow by many developing nations. The Asian country lifted itself from the poverty of war sixty years ago and turned itself into one of the world’s leading economies. Some of the biggest names in technology have since emerged from Korea – including Samsung, LG, Hyundai and Kia – while the country has excelled in trade, ship construction, petrochemicals and various other industries.
South Korea’s rise to capitalist success hasn’t been without its struggles, though. The country has endured dictatorships, coups, riots and a string of alleged human rights violations over the last sixty years – the kind of growing pains familiar to many African nations.
President Park will also visit neighbouring countries Kenya and Uganda to hold bilateral talks before leaving the region.