INTERVIEW: Africa’s rich human and natural resources open for Korean investors

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This article is the second in a series of interviews with African ambassadors to Korea ahead of the Korea-Africa Summit in June. ― ED.

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Chafik Rachadi, the Moroccan ambassador to Korea, said the upcoming Korea-Africa Summit holds immense promise for both Korea and the African continent. He emphasized potential collaboration based on Africa’s abundant human and natural resources, paving the way for shared prosperity between the two regions.

The inaugural summit is scheduled for June.

“Morocco highly appreciates and values the organizational efforts and endeavors of the Korean authorities with regard to this special summit, wishing full success to this first-ever important encounter,” Rachadi said during an interview with The Korea Times at the Moroccan Embassy in Seoul, Jan. 23.
“The African continent’s vast human and natural resources promise limitless potential for collaboration with Korea to achieve shared prosperity. The summit is an opportunity, considering that by 2023, 40 percent of the world’s young people will be African, and 75 percent of the region’s population will be under 35.”

The ambassador emphasized the significance of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) as an opportunity to balance business transactions and champion the “Made in Africa” initiative. He expressed his belief that the agreement could open up a market encompassing 1.2 billion consumers and stimulate increased intra-Africa trade.

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Morocco’s dedication to Africa was articulated through a comprehensive commitment that encompasses various developmental actions. These include initiatives in migration, human development, food security, climate change adaptation, and infrastructure development. Morocco’s active engagement reflects not only geographical and historical ties, but also underscores its commitment to Africa as a realm of close human relations.

“Morocco is considered the No. 1 African investor in West Africa and the second in the entire continent,” he said. “Korea can leverage Morocco as a strategic relay point for accessing Africa, given its advantageous geographical location.”

The ambassador highlighted Morocco’s recent initiative, the Atlantic Coast Vision, designed to contribute to the regional prosperity and development of landlocked Sahel and Central African regions. That vision seeks to turn the Atlantic region into a hub of human interaction and economic integration, underlining Morocco’s commitment to fostering regional and international cooperation.

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“(Atlantic Coast Vision) strives to improve connectivity, establish transportation infrastructure, build logistics platforms, and develop a strong and competitive commercial marine fleet. Given Korea’s strength in this field, it presents an opportunity for Korea to actively participate in the development of the Atlantic Coast Vision and contribute capital to further its objectives,” the ambassador said.

Rachadi highlighted Morocco’s prowess in diverse sectors such as automobiles, aeronautics, renewable energy, trade, tourism, agriculture, filmmaking, and phosphate production. The country’s noteworthy achievements, such as being Africa’s top producer in the automotive sector and a significant player in aerospace, underscore Morocco’s dedication to innovation and sustainability.

The ambassador expressed Morocco’s commitment to cutting-edge tech fields, attracting investments through investor-friendly policies, particularly aiming to attract Korean investments.

“Fifty years ago, Korea shared some similarities with many African countries. Today, it stands as a success story, inspiring many African nations, including Morocco, of course. I believe that we have already gained valuable experience in the automotive sector through collaborations between Morocco and KOICA, aimed at training Moroccans in this industry,” Rachadi said.

In the automotive sector, Morocco’s excellence was highlighted as Africa’s leading producer, with milestones in electric and hydrogen vehicles, reinforcing the “Made in Morocco” label and showcasing a commitment to sustainability.

Diplomatic ties
Six decades after the initiation of diplomatic ties in 1962, both nations have witnessed continuous progress in political, economic, cultural, educational and technological cooperation. Rachadi highlighted the special connection forged during the Korean War, where Moroccan soldiers volunteered to defend the Republic of Korea, solidifying a bond as blood brothers in the fight for shared democratic ideals.

“The diplomatic relations between Korea and Morocco began in 1962, with Korea opening its first embassy in Africa in Morocco on July 6, 1962,” he said.

The interview explored the ongoing collaborative efforts between Korea and Morocco, encompassing various fields such as politics, the economy, culture, education, health, research, and technology transfers. The ambassador emphasized that these pillars of current actions play a pivotal role in nurturing a comprehensive and mutually beneficial relationship between the two countries.

The ambassador concluded by highlighting Morocco’s rich cultural heritage, inviting Korean tourists to explore the vibrant streets, diverse landscapes, and unique flavors of Moroccan cuisine. Rachadi emphasized that Morocco-Korea cooperative endeavors reflect a mutual desire to strengthen ties in the future, paving the way for enhanced opportunities in all fields. Envisioning the future of Korea-Morocco relations emphasizing the imperative of strengthening partnerships for mutual cooperation and collaboration.

Morocco, situated in North Africa, is flanked by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The capital city is Rabat. Official languages include Arabic and Amazigh (Berber), with French widely utilized in government and commerce. King Mohammed VI has held the monarchy since 1999. As of 2021, the country’s estimated population stands at around 37 million people, with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of approximately $120 billion.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staffhttps://www.naija247news.com/
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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