Korea’s cooperation policy and its implications for development cooperation with Africa

  • Yejoo Kim


One of the most prominent features in the area of development cooperation in the 21st century is the appearance of so-called emerging donors2. Especially, China‟s massive aid package combined with its determination to strengthen economic ties with recipient countries has resulted in traditional Western donors feeling anxious and even awe-struck. Under the circumstances, from time to time, other Asian countries feel that China receives most international attention, these countries such as Singapore, Thailand and South Korea (hereafter Korea) also deserve to be noticed, considering that their involvement can also bring about certain changes in development cooperation3. However, little research has been done on these countries. Against this background, the focus in this article will be on Korea‟s cooperation policy, especially towards Africa. Korea has changed from a recipient to a donor country, and became a member of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development/ Development Assistance Committee (OECD/DAC) in 2010. Especially, the country‟s approach towards Africa in terms of cooperation policy has been closely related to its economic interests. As a member of the OECD/DAC, Korea has to follow the guideline laid down by the international donor community. Since Korea‟s traditional development cooperation policy was not motivated by humanitarian or poverty reduction concerns, the country is now under pressure to maintain a balance between national interests and a sense of international duty.