Students enhance understanding of Africa through 1st Model African Union Conference held
Simulations provide realistic understanding of African Union
Korea’s first Model African Union Conference was jointly held by Korea University’s Graduate School of International Studies and the Korea-Africa Future Strategy Center (Director Ilsoo Kim) at the KU International Studies Hall on October 31.
The Korea-Africa Future Strategy Center was established in January this year to promote research on Africa, nurture professionals, and enhance mutual understanding between Korea and Africa.
In the opening address, Director Ilsoo Kim said, “I hope this conference will allow students to experience the real Africa and overcome prejudices. This is also an opportunity to reflect on how Korea is establishing cooperative ties with countries in Africa.”
Sung Jun Yeo, deputy director-general for African and Middle Eastern affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, delivered the welcoming address. He said, “It is meaningful that this conference is being held in Korea for the first time. Africa is undergoing major changes with a two-fold increase in GDP and rapid growth of mobile phone and internet users. This is why the present generation should pay attention to Africa. I expect this conference will help students broaden their horizons and gain a more accurate grasp of the continent.”
Held under the theme of Africa’s Energy Crisis, the 1st Model African Union Conference featured small-group discussions on energy-related themes by undergraduate and graduate students of universities throughout Korea. Representatives of each country in Africa proposed a resolution to a sub-topic issue, and other countries offered their opinions.
Through realistic simulations of the African Union Conference, students gained exposure to current issues and learnt of the different viewpoints of each African country. During the second half of the conference, Integrated Music Company gave a live performance of African music.
The first prize (KRW 2 million) went to the Kenya team, comprised of Jieun Choi and Geunyeong Heo (Korea University). Two teams, Korea University’s Soyoung Park and Seungpo Son and Yonsei University’s Gyumin Kim and Seonbin Yu, tied for second place. All participants received certificates of completion and souvenirs.