President, Korea Institute for Development Strategy
South Korea has come late to the African party. Seoul's anxiety to match Japan, China and India's engagement with the continent has seen it emulate many of their multilateral development forums and institutions. The well-connected see an opportunity to influence policy.
To wit, the Korea Institute for Development Strategy, a think-tank founded in 2001 and led by economist Chun Seung-hun. KDS offers training to administrators and consults on national development poverty reduction. Early projects focussed on East Asia; in recent years, KDS has carved out a niche in Africa. The think-tank has organised a number of Africa-centred events for the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Korea International Cooperation Agency and the Korea Export-Import Bank.
Chun Seung-hun took his bachelor's degree in agricultural economics at Seoul National University in 1972 and later earned his masters and doctorate degrees in economics at the University of Michigan in the United States. He joined the Ministry of Finance and Economics in 1973 and rose to director-general of economic policy and development planning. He later served as Executive Director of KOICA. Capitalising on his links to development institutions, he co-founded KDS in 2001 and became its President in 2006. He is an adjunct professor at Yonsei University's Graduate School of International Studies.