The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will increase the number of divisions in Africa from one to two, in what is seen as a bid to enhance diplomacy in the region. It will be the first time since 2009 that the ministry has had more than one division specializing in Africa-related issues.
The ministry now runs the Africa Division under the wing of the African and Middle Eastern Affairs Bureau, which also consists of Middle East Division 1 and 2. The bureau will then have Africa Division 1 and 2, with each division responsible for either the southeastern or northwestern parts of Africa.
One of the two divisions will also deal with issues related to the African Union (AU), a governing body consisting of 55 countries. Africa-related units at the ministry have been expanded or scaled back over time, depending on how Korea rates the continent’s importance. Africa has an average 5.5 percent economic growth rate, and 70 percent of its population is aged 30 or younger.