South Korean president, Park Geun-hye, daughter of the most influential South Korean president to date, Park Chung-hee, is scheduled to visit Ethiopia as part of a three-country East Africa tour from May 25 to 28.
Park will visit Uganda and Kenya apart from Ethiopia with the overall schedule extending from May 25 to June 1. According to Cheong Wa Dae, head of the Korean presidential office, during her visit Park is expected hold bilateral talks with three leaders, Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, President Yoweri Museveni and President Uhuru Kenyatta, leaders of Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya, respectively.
On top of that, Park will be presiding over the initiation of new Korean International Cooperation Agency (KoICA) program called the Korean Aid program in the three countries during her visit. The Korean Aid program will be the nation’s new official development assistance program and will be executed through the KoICA. The new program will be focusing on the healthcare, food and mutual cultural exchanges between Korea and the recipient nations.
The president will also be the first Korean President to visit the African Union (AU) headquarter in Addis Ababa and deliver a speech regarding Korea’s policy towards Africa.
According to the press release that was dispatched by the Korean presidential office, Park will also meet Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (PhD), the chairwoman of the AU Commission while in Addis Ababa.
On the other hand, the presidential office also said that Park will be meeting members of the Korean community in the respective nations and will be chairing business forums composed of Korean businesspeople working in the three countries.
Cheong Wa Dae also noted that the president will also use the visit to strengthen international support and cooperation against the threat of the North Korean nuclear program and other pertinent issues.
Park is the first female president in both South Korea and the South East Asia region to date. She is also the first South Korean president to have been born as South Korean citizen and someone who had the taste of politics from the very young age. Especially, after the passing away of the her mother, Yuk Young-Soo in 1974, after being hit by a stray bullet which was meant for the then president and father, Park Chung-hee, she was widely considered to be the first lady of South Korea, where she had a front row experience of political life in the Korean Peninsula.
In 2013 and 2014, Park was named the World’s 11th Most Powerful Woman and the Most Powerful Woman in East Asia by Forbes Magazine’s list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. In 2014, Park was named the World’s 46th Most Powerful Person by Forbes magazine’s List of The World’s Most Powerful People, the third highest South Korean on the list, after Lee Kun-hee and Lee Jae-yong, father and son, chairman and vice chairman of SAMSUNG Electronics.
Park assumed office in February 2013 after successfully beating her rival in the 2012 elections to become the eleventh president of the country. Nevertheless, she has her eyes on the presidency since 2008, where she was a contender in the 2007 presidential race and until she lost with a narrow margin to the Lee Myung-bak, another Korean leader who has conducted a state visit to Ethiopia in 2011.