Korean Statistical Office and African Development Bank Sign MOU for Statistical Collaboration

The Korean Statistical Office (KSO), under the leadership of Director Lee Hyeong-il, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the African Development Bank (AfDB) on September 13th in Busan. This collaboration aims to strengthen statistical capacity for sustainable development goals (SDGs) achievement in the African region and support evidence-based decision-making.

The AfDB, established in 1964 to promote sustainable economic development and social progress in Africa (comprising 81 member countries), and the KSO will cooperate on various initiatives, including:

  • Support for Evidence-Based Decision-Making: Utilizing the African Information Highway (AIH), which involves rapid data collection through tablet-based interviews, data transmission (including sensitive data), and data visualization tools.
  • Compilation of SDGs Statistics: Collaborating on the compilation of statistics related to achieving sustainable development goals.
  • National Statistical Development Strategies: Joint efforts to formulate strategies for national statistical development.

This MOU is of significant importance, as it marks the 40th anniversary of Korea’s membership in the AfDB. It expands the foundation for international development cooperation projects (ODA) in the field of statistics beyond Asia and Latin America to strategically important African countries.

In the past, the KSO has signed similar MOUs with international organizations such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). It has also transferred advanced Korean statistical techniques, including statistical information systems, quality control systems, and databases, to nine countries, fostering their internationalization efforts.

As a result of these efforts, the KSO has enhanced Korea’s international reputation. It holds three consecutive terms as a member of the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC), a position as the host institution for the United Nations Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific (UNSIAP), and the successful bid to host the 2027 World Statistics Congress of the International Statistical Institute (ISI).

Director Lee Hyeong-il expressed optimism regarding the collaboration’s potential impact on systematic international development cooperation projects in the field of statistics in the African region. He emphasized the KSO’s commitment to enhancing statistical capacity to support SDGs achievement.

Furthermore, Director Lee highlighted the KSO’s plans to expand international development cooperation projects (ODA) not only to African countries but also to countries in Asia and Latin America. This initiative aims to continuously support Korean companies’ overseas expansion efforts and contribute to economic stimulation.

In conclusion, Director Lee requested the active interest and support of the AfDB in securing the endorsement of African countries for the “2030 Busan World Expo,” emphasizing the importance of innovative statistical production in leading global statistical development.

Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, expressed his delight in signing the MOU with the Korean Statistical Office. He committed to collaborating with the KSO to build statistical infrastructure in the African region, strengthen statistical capacity, and systematically support policy formulation for economic and social development.

The KSO looks forward to expanding its international development cooperation projects to not only African countries but also countries in Asia and Latin America. This will contribute to ongoing support for Korean companies’ overseas expansion and economic revitalization efforts.