Kenya and South Korea have signed a $485 million (KSh63 billion) concessional development funding on the sidelines of the Korea-Africa Summit.

This includes $238 million (KSh30 billion) for the implementation of the Konza Digital Media City Project.

President William Ruto said the project will boost the country’s digital ecosystem, a key government initiative aimed at expanding digital and creative economy opportunities for the young people of Kenya, at the Konza Technopolis.

“This project will provide an excellent digital media and entertainment ecosystem for research, training and the propagation of new technologies,” he said.

He commended Korea for the Economic Innovation Partnership Programme, which further supports Konza Technopolis.

He made the remarks on Tuesday during talks with President Yoon Suk Yeol of Korea on the sidelines of the Korea-Africa Summit at the Korea International Exhibition Centre in Goyang, on the outskirts of Seoul.

President Ruto thanked President Yoon for Korea’s support in establishing the Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KENYA-AIST), modelled after the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, an institution pivotal in Korea’s economic transformation.

He said Kenya-AIST is nearing completion and will be unveiled later this year. He invited President Yoon to Kenya during the official opening of the institute.

“I take this opportunity to invite Your Excellency to join us during the opening ceremony. We are confident that this institution will be a prominent showcase of Africa-Korea scientific and technological collaboration,” he added.

President Ruto cited the development of Bus Rapid Transit Line 5, the Nairobi ITS, the dualing of the 78km Machakos Junction-Emali Road, water supply and sanitation for the Konza Technopolis and the Vaccine Production Project as some of the ongoing collaborative projects between Kenya and Korea.

During the meeting, President Ruto implored President Yoon to fast-track the implementation of the Kenya-Korea Bilateral Labour Agreement.

“I assure you that my government has put measures in place to ensure that any Kenyan employed in Korea complies with Korean laws and terms of engagement, including returning home at the expiry of their employment contracts,” he added.

President Ruto said Kenya is keen on enhancing trade relations with Korea to attain balanced trade between the two friendly nations.

“Although the balance of trade currently favours Korea, we have an opportunity to work together to reduce this imbalance,” he stated.

He outlined other areas of cooperation Kenya is pursuing with Korea, including maritime development, green industrialisation and manufacturing, among others.

He noted that Kenya seeks Korea’s support in developing the semi-conductor industry through technology partnerships, infrastructure development and capacity building.

“Kenya aspires to be a manufacturing and technology leader on the African continent. We invite Korean expertise to help meet our energy demands, including expanding our renewable power mix to incorporate nuclear energy,” he said.

On his part, President Yoon committed to enhancing the relations between Kenya and Korea for the mutual benefit of the citizens of both nations.

He said that Korea is ready to support Kenya’s ambitious transformation agenda in technology, infrastructure development, and water and dam programmes.


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