Minister Chong, Jong-sup of Government Administration and Home Affairs embarked on a journey to promote the public administrative institutions and policies of the Government of the Republic of Korea to Africa. With his focus on East Africa in particular, he visited Ethiopia and Uganda during his trip that lasted for five nights and eight days, departing Seoul at midnight of March 16.
It is undeniable that his visit to Africa was rather unusual, given that the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs (MOGAHA) is in charge of home affairs such as government innovation, e-government, and local administration.
Minister Chong takes a unique approach, unlike other development aid projects focused on economic development, to enhance public governance capacity of developing countries by sharing Korea's experiences in developing efficient and advanced public governance systems.
East Africa is one of the most underdeveloped regions in Africa, which means, in reverse, that the region has a great potential for development.
The region has shown its strong interest in adopting Korea's advanced public administration systems such as e-government and rural development known as the "New Community Movement (or Saemaul Undong)."
The MOGAHA expects that Minister Chong's visit to Africa would serve as a stepping stone to promote Korea's well-developed government programs for good governane to a wider audience in the world through various platforms, including the Africa-Republic of Korea Ministerial Meeting on Public Governance that was held on March 18. In the Miniterial Meeting, five African countries, namely Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda, participated.
During his visit to Africa, Minister Chong engaged in various activities. As soon as he arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on March 17, he paid a visit to the Korean War Veterans' Memorial and laid flowers in tribute to those who lost their lives at the war.
On March 18, he held the Africa-Republic of Korea Ministerial Meeting on Public Governance. At the meeting, Minister Chong shared Korea's development experiences and key success factors in areas that interest the African countries, such as e-government and rural development. He also discussed how to enhance practical cooperation between the participating countries.
After the meeting, Minister Chong signed a memorandum of understanding with each participating African country, except for Kenya, to enhance cooperation in public governance. The MOU with Kenya would be signed in due course when both parties come to agree on further details.
On March 19, Minister Chong met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and discussed ways to strengthen cooperation between Korea and Ethiopia. After his meeting with the Prime Minister, he paid a visit to Addis Ababa University, which is one of the best universities in Ehiopia, and spoke about youth's role and the importance of public governance in national development in front of faculty members and students.
Mindful that Uganda has shown great interest in Saemaul Undong, Minister Chong moved on to Uganda and met with Uganda President Yoweri Museveni on March 20. He also visited pilot project sites of Saemaul Undong and the soon-to-open National Farmers' Leadership Center to further enhance the cooperation between Korea and Uganda in the area of rural development.
Minister Chong said before his trip to Africa, "Since I took office, I have come to realize the high global recognition of good governance in Korea."
He also stated, "Starting from the ASEAN-ROK Ministerial Roundtable in Busan in December last year and the upcoming Africa-ROK Ministerial Meeting in Addis Ababa, I have worked on expanding our international network. This effort should continue to the rest of the world such as Latin America and Central Asia."
"I will continue to do my best to introduce Korea's public governance policies and systems to the international community," he continued.
Minister Chong visited the Korean War Veterans Memorial located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and paid tribute to the victims of the Korean War.
Ministers who attended the 2015 Africa-Republic of Korea Ministerial Meeting on Public Governance are striking a pose for a group photo. Minister Chong invited minsiters from Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda and held a ministerial meeting on public governance in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on March 18, 2015 to enhance cooperation with the African countries.
Minister Chong (left) is posing for a photo with Minister Celina O. Kombani for Public Service Management of the United Republic of Tanzania (right) after signing a memorandum of understanding with the Tanzanian government to enhance bilateral cooperation for good governance.
Minister Chong (left) met Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia and talked about how to enhance the bilateral cooperation between Korea and Ethiopia.
Minister Chong (left) met with President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and discussed the bilateral cooperation between their two countries.
Minister Chong paid a visit to the National Farmers' Leadership Center in Uganda. With its construction 80% complete, the NFLC will be run in cooperation with the government of the Republic of Korea to accelerate regional development in Uganda.