Africa

Korea, Nigeria to Cooperate on Energy

More asians coming to the Nigerian table and offering money and cultural and education exchange (i.e. public diplomacy) to boot.

President Roh Moo-hyun and Nigerian President Olusegun ObasanjoThursday agreed to increase substantial economic cooperation between the two
countries, especially in the field of energy and resources.

The two leaders
also decided during their summit to closely cooperate in the
information-technology (IT) sector.

Officials
accompanying Roh on his visit to three African countries said South Korea will
provide Nigeria with $200,000 worth of equipment and supplies to help prevent
avian influenza.

Roh unveiled a package of aid programs in which South Korea
will triple its financial assistance to the continent over the next three
years.

Meeting over lunch with business leaders from Nigeria and South Korea
at a hotel here, Roh said that Seoul will triple its Official Development
Assistance bound for Africa by to some $10 billion by 2008.

He added the
increased financial assistance would be used largely to support Africa’s human
resources development, and improve health.

In order to share its experience
of economic development, the government will host some 1,000 Africans in the
coming three years to share know-how acquired in the course of economic
development.

"We will also try to devise innovative measures to secure
financial resources to help Africa," Roh told the businessmen, reminding them of
an airline tax proposed by French President Jacque Chirac to bankroll programs
to fight poverty and disease.

Chirac has recently urged the international
community to adopt an airline tax to raise financial resources to help Africa.
Speaking at a two-day meeting in Paris last month, he said France planned to
begin imposing the airline tax in July.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
officials traveling with Roh, said the government plans to launch a forum
between South Korea and Africa later this year.

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