211022 Korea-Africa Foundation president visits Ghana, promotes forum [The Korea Times]관리자 / 2021-10-22 오후 2:14:00 / 150
By Kwon Mee-yoo
Lyeo Woon-ki, president of the Korea-Africa Foundation (KAF), visited Ghana to strengthen cooperation between Korea and Africa earlier this month.
Lyeo picked Ghana ― where he had served as Korea's ambassador from 2014 to 2018 ― as his first destination after taking the post at the foundation in March.
During his six-day trip from Oct. 6 to 11, Lyeo met political, economic and academic figures of Ghana, promoting the role of the KAF as well as the upcoming Korea-Africa Forum (KOAF), slated for December.
The KOAF is a ministerial-level conference launched in 2006 to boost partnerships between Korea and African countries. Alongside the KOAF, the KAF also holds the Korea-Africa Business Forum, the Seoul Dialogue on Africa and the Korea-Africa Youth Forum.
Lyeo met Ghana's Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, and the minister showed high expectations for the KAF's role in promoting Korea-Africa relations.
Lyeo invited Ghanaian businessman Samuel Jonah, executive chairman of Jonah Capital, to the business forum to enhance networking among Korean and African entrepreneurs and to advise Korean companies wanting to advance into the African market.
"Jonah mentioned that he expects cooperation with Korea's IT and game industries, as he recognizes the importance of economic innovation, and wants to learn from Korea's rapid growth from a developing country into a developed one," Lyeo told The Korea Times.
Lyeo, who emphasized the importance of networking in Africa upon his appointment, said that this visit opened up opportunities to create networks amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Lyeo also met with Lifeforms CEO Kwasi Atuah and Institute of Economic Affairs Chairman Charles Mensa, to discuss economic trends in Ghana and Africa and vowing to boost Korea-Africa relations.
In a meeting with Fred Binka, a professor of clinical epidemiology at the School of Public Health, University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ghana, Lyeo listened to a discussion of Ghana's and Africa's COVID-19 responses and shared thoughts on cooperation in medical and healthcare between Korea and Africa.
Lyeo's first itinerary in Ghana was meeting with Korean residents there, to show support for them as they have been going through difficult times amid the pandemic.