The African region not only holds about 9.7% of global crude oil deposits and 12.1% of oil production, but also has an abundance of other mineral resources, which makes it a promising region for future resource development. However, environmental management in the region is still in a nascent stage, with limited investment being made, and there is a need for substantial investment in basic environmental facilities. Fortunately, the recognition that environmental damage is a serious obstacle to economic development and that confronting the problem is critical to solving poverty issues has gained a great deal of traction recently.
Accordingly, the direction of environmental collaboration with African countries should head forward with the following two aims; first, to contribute to the efforts of African partner countries for environmental conservation, and secondly, to resolve the poverty issues of the region for environmental conservation. The second point is also related to the achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDG). Environmental collaboration should contribute to the attainment of MDG through cooperation in basic water quality improvement and basic waste management facilities.
The Korean President’s visit to Egypt, which took place from March 6th to 9th of 2006, led to the signing of the Environmental Collaboration Agreement and Ministerial Meeting on Environment between the two countries. On November 13th 2006 in Cairo, the first Korea-Egypt Ministerial Meeting on the Environment was held, at which the transference of CNG bus-related technology, the water quality improvement of the Nile river, the management of harmful waste, and the facilitation of environmental industry exchange were discussed, and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on environmental collaboration was signed. Also, a project for the integrated management of harmful waste (December 2007~July 2010) was conducted as an Official Development Assistance (ODA), and Korea established a mercury waste treatment facility, accelerating the Korean environmental industry’s expansion into Egypt. In the Korea-Egypt Environment Ministers' Meetings held in January 28 and July 1 2010 respectively, discussions were held under the themes of improvement of air quality in Egypt, cooperation for sewerage treatment in Egypt, support for Egypt waste treatment, etc and both countries agreed to hold 2011 Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) Forum in Egypt. Also, the Korean government will continuously and more actively cooperate with the Egyptian government in environmental fields.
The 1st Korea-Tunisia Ministerial Meeting on the Environment was held from May 4th to 5th 2007 in Tunis, Tunisia, and the topics of air pollution measurement and monitoring technology, the recycling of parts of electronic devices and the facilitation of environmental industry exchange were discussed, and an agreement was made on environmental collaboration. Also, as a follow-up measure of the meeting, the Tunisia Air Quality Monitoring Improvement Project (2008~2011) was promoted as Official Development Assistance (ODA), which has seemed to contribute to the improvement of air quality in Tunisia. In 2010 both countries agreed to hold the Korea-Tunisia Ministerial Meeting in Tunisia and thus to invite the Korean Minister to Tunisia and advance their relations into a partner for green growth cooperation. Specifically, discussions were held on how to register biogas plants in Tunisia as a CDM project and nurture African environmental experts through CITET, a global center for environmental technology. Also, Korea requested the support of the Tunisian government for Korean businesses which had made a bid for the global consulting projects of waste management. The Ministry of Environment of Korea is planning to further strengthen the collaboration of the two countries through more joint environmental projects.