To ease movement of diplomats, workers: Cameroon, South Korea seal deal to waive visas.

Minister Mbella Mbella, Cho Tae-Yul shaking hands after signing agreement

The government of Cameroon, has through the Ministry of External Relations, signed an agreement with South Korea, on reciprocal visa exemption for holders of diplomatic and service passports.

The agreement document was signed on behalf of the government of Cameroon by the Minister of External Relations, MINREX, Mbella Mbella, and his South Korean counterpart, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cho Tae-Yul.

It was signed on June 2, in Seoul, South Korea, ahead of the pioneer Korea-Africa Summit, where Minister Mbella Mbella represented the country.

The summit, which took place June 4 to 5, was under the theme: “The future we want to build together: shared growth, sustainability and solidarity”.

The Ministry of External Relations in a post on its Facebook page, explained that the agreement is an important step forward in facilitating the movement of people between the two countries.

MINREX in the post added that the move positively reflects the determination of Cameroon’s Head of State, President Paul Biya, and his South Korean counterpart, President Yoon Suk Yeol, to improve bilateral cooperation between their two countries.

The agreement is expected to go into force once it has been ratified by the Parliaments of Cameroon and the Republic of Korea.

Minister Mbella Mbella, together with other African Foreign Affairs Ministers and diplomats, it should be said, during the summit, discussed with the Korean government, on avenues to improve bilateral relations in the areas of trade, technology and investment.

In this light, Minister Mbella Mbella took part in a preparatory meeting for the summit held on June 2, in Seoul, by African Foreign Affairs Ministers.

Minister Mbella Mbella with other African Diplomats




Cameroon, South Korea relations

Both Cameroon and South Korea enjoy rich bilateral cooperation that has grown steadily in intensity for six decades. This rich cooperation is reflected in the high-level exchanges between both countries in recent years.

On November 1, 2023, the Head of State, President Paul Biya, received at the Unity Palace, the South Korean Prime Minister, Han Duc-soo, who was visiting Africa for the first time.

Last April, the Prime Minister, Head of Government, Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute, received on behalf of the Head of State, the South Korean Second Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kang In-sun.

These visits provided an opportunity for officials of both nations to review ties between the two countries, with one of the latest jewels in the cooperation being the Garoua General Hospital, an investment of 42 billion FCFA financed by Exim Bank of Korea, which was inaugurated in October 2022 by the Prime Minister, Joseph Dion Ngute.

In addition to healthcare, South Korea's presence in the country is felt in other sectors notably the digitalisation of customs and civil status registration processes. 


About the Korea-Africa summit

The inaugural Korea-Africa Summit is an initiative of the government of South Korea held under the auspices of President Yoon Suk Yeol to expand trade, technology and investment opportunities on the African continent. 

While launching the summit on June 4, Yoon Suk Yeol announced that South Korea will commit 14 billion dollars in export financing to support Korean companies investing in Africa, while increasing its Official Development Assistance, ODA, to 10 billion dollars by 2030.

Kim Tae-hyo, Deputy National Security Adviser to President Yoon Suk Yeol, said Africa is a crucial partner for South Korea to further its industrial advances and cooperation, adding that Africa is not a choice, but a necessity.

Representatives from 48 African nations attended the maiden summit, with at least 30 Heads of State. 



This story was first published in The Guardian Post issue No3133 of Thursday June 06, 2024

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