The Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa has underscored the contribution of South Korea in maintaining peace and security in Africa, something he believes is key in economic growth.
Tayebwa was speaking at a function organized by the Korean Ambassador to Uganda, HE Park Sung Soo where the South Korean community in Uganda marked the National and Armed Forces Day. “As we commemorate this National and Armed Forces Day, I commend the Republic of Korea for supporting peace in Africa, through its participation in peacekeeping operations in South Sudan and the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO),” he said adding that, ’in South Sudan, Korean Corps of Engineers participated in infrastructural improvements in the areas of Bor , Jongeli Province which will have a significant impact on South Sudan’s Economy’.
He said that Uganda, a beacon of peace and security in the Great Lakes region believes that such international support to regional mechanisms can provide useful and effective tools for maintaining peace and security.
“Uganda is pleased with the recent election of the Republic of Korea for a two-year term, 2024-2025, as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. We hope for closer collaboration during this period on the African peace and security matters on the Council’s agenda, especially the Great Lakes region and the Horn of Africa,” he added.
The Deputy Speaker hailed the over 50 year productive diplomatic relations between Uganda and South Korea with key political, economic and historical benefits resulting from the best principles of mutual respect, democracy and shared interests.
According to Tayebwa, the two nations will look forward to cementing diplomatic, economic and other strategic relations during the upcoming Second Political Consultative Meeting in June 2024 in Seoul.
“We welcome the upcoming Korea – Africa Summit slated for June, 2024 as yet another opportunity to discuss areas pertinent to the continent and identify new avenues for both technical and financial support, that are critical to leapfrogging of the economic development of Africa, in line with the AU Agenda 2063,” Tayebwa added.
Concerning development cooperation, Tayebwa commended South Korea’s strategic partnership with Uganda in the areas of increasing sustainable production and value addition and enhancing human capital development, which directly correspond to the country’s National Development goals.
The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has been the Asian country’s magic bullet in creating significant impact working with various sectors and groups in Uganda, according to the Deputy Speaker.
Some of the key outputs of the strategic partnerships by the two countries include, the development of the fruit processing factory in Soroti Industrial Park which is addressing value addition in the agriculture sector.
The other is the US$864 million partnership between Korea Project on International Agriculture (KOPIA), Uganda Centre and National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) to support Elgon farmers to boost the growing of high-yield animal pastures.
Park Sung Soo said that his country which is now the 11th largest economy globally and the seventh importer in the global economic community continues to look forward to doing business and economic cooperation with Uganda.
He requested the Government of Uganda to ensure a more trade and investment friendly environment in terms of legal and institutional aspects, hence promising more cordial deliberations when President Yoon Suk Yeol hosts African heads of State at next year’s summit.
For the nearly six decades of diplomatic ties between Uganda and South Korea, Ambassador Soo said there have been good relations that have witnessed modest trade and investment achievements and relatively big-sized development cooperation.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.