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  • Open Access
  • © 2019

Re-Inventing Africa's Development

Linking Africa to the Korean Development Model

Palgrave Macmillan


  • First-ever “mind-set change” approach proposed for sub-Saharan Africa’s development.

  • Introduces a comprehensive “Korean development model” combining both economic aspects and social-political aspects as applicable to Africa.

  • Presents a new formula for Africa’s transformation based on the “golden rules of development”.

Buying options

Hardcover Book USD 31.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (13 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxi
  2. The Paradox of Sub-Saharan Africa

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 1-1
    2. Disillusionment and Dilemma

      • Jong-Dae Park
      Pages 3-35Open Access
    3. Assessing the Role of Foreign Aid, Donors and Recipients

      • Jong-Dae Park
      Pages 37-60Open Access
  3. Rethinking the Root Causes of Africa’s Under-Development

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 61-61
    2. Review of Conventional Explanations

      • Jong-Dae Park
      Pages 63-109Open Access
    3. Uncovering the Main Root Cause: The Mindset Factor

      • Jong-Dae Park
      Pages 111-126Open Access
  4. Africa’s Forgotten Mission of Nation-Building: What are Missing

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 127-127
    2. Finding the Missing Links

      • Jong-Dae Park
      Pages 129-158Open Access
    3. Reasons for Optimism and the Tasks at Hand

      • Jong-Dae Park
      Pages 159-173Open Access
  5. Understanding Korean Development Model

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 175-175
    2. Korea’s Path of Development in Retrospect

      • Jong-Dae Park
      Pages 177-205Open Access
    3. The Essence of the Korean Model of Development

      • Jong-Dae Park
      Pages 207-241Open Access
  6. Application of the Korean Model for Africa

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 243-243
    2. Applicability of the Korean Development Model for Africa

      • Jong-Dae Park
      Pages 245-270Open Access
    3. Policy Recommendations for Africa

      • Jong-Dae Park
      Pages 271-315Open Access
    4. Engineering Rural Development for Africa

      • Jong-Dae Park
      Pages 317-355Open Access
  7. Africa on the New Path to Development

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 357-357
    2. Re-setting the Priorities

      • Jong-Dae Park
      Pages 359-382Open Access
    3. Enacting Bold but Harmonious Change

      • Jong-Dae Park
      Pages 383-409Open Access

About this book

This open access book analyses the development problems of sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) from the eyes of a Korean diplomat with knowledge of the economic growth Korea has experienced in recent decades. The author argues that Africa's development challenges are not due to a lack of resources but a lack of management, presenting an alternative to the traditional view that Africa's problems are caused by a lack of leadership. In exploring an approach based on mind-set and nation-building, rather than unity – which tends to promote individual or party interests rather than the broader country or national interests – the author suggests new solutions for SSA's economic growth, inspired by Korea's successful economic growth model much of which is focused on industrialisation. 

This book will be of interest to researchers, policymakers, NGOs and governmental bodies in economics, development and politics studying Africa's economic development, and Korea's economic growth model.


  • Economic Discrimination
  • Korean economic growth
  • Saemaul Undong
  • Nation-building
  • Economics and Industrialisation
  • Korean development model
  • Sub-Saharan African development economics
  • Human and social capital
  • Open access


“The work is geared towards a general readership interested in Korea’s development process and African politics in relation to the obstacles to development.” (Joonhwa Cho, Pacific Affairs, Vol. 93 (1), 2020)

“Written by a Korean diplomat and Africanist, this book offers a unique perspective on the development problems of the sub-Sahara Africa (SSA), and it also suggests effective solutions for SSA to take off economically, basically through the two-step approach of building-block and building-bridge.” (Keun Lee, Professor of Economics at Seoul National University, South Korea) 

“The potency of this book lies in the unique qualification of the author with vast experiences richly encompassing both the Korean and African aspects and policy expertise guided by strong academic credentials. His work embodies keen insights, and is a welcome addition to the African development discourse; I highly recommend it to all those interested in meeting the African development challenges head-on.” (Augustin K. Fosu, Professor of Economics (ISSER) at University of Ghana, Ghana) 

“On the strength of a life-long front-row experience of the continent and a deep command of the literature, facts and debates, Jong-Dae Park offers an intriguing cultural argument about African development. Inspired by the experience of South Korea, it is provocative (despite its gentle tone) and likely to prove controversial. Yet, it is also hopeful and well worth reading, both for African and non-African students, scholar and practitioners of development.” (Pierre Englebert, Professor of Political Science at Pomona College, USA) 

“A perspective from an Asian with profound experience in Africa and who is keenly aware of Korea's achievements is a welcome addition for tackling Africa's development challenges and opportunities. Jong-Dae Park weaves together so immaculately his personal observations, careful reading of available literature, and insights into the Korean experience; the book forces the reader to navigate peculiar idiosyncrasy and generalities in Africa and South Korea’s development so as to draw some crucial lessons.” (Siphamandla Zondi, Professor of Political Science at University of Pretoria, South Africa)

“Jong-Dae Park is uniquely qualified to comment on the contrast between Africa and South Korea due to his background. Park's critique is not an armchair academic exercise; he is passionate about development because, as a Korean, he has witnessed first-hand the transformation of his country, while in Africa he sees the vast potential not yet realized.” (Dr. Ian Clarke, Chairman of Clarke Group, Uganda)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Embassy of the Republic of Korea, Pretoria, South Africa

    Jong-Dae Park

About the author

Jong-Dae Park is the South Korean Ambassador in South Africa and a specialist in African Development and Korea’s soft power. Park, a career diplomat, has been heavily engaged in development assistance for the last seven years when he was the Ambassador in Uganda. He also held the position of Director of Policy Planning in the Foreign Ministry, and served in the Presidential Office. He holds a BA from Yonsei University, Korea, an MA from UC Berkeley, USA, and a Ph.D. from Kyungnam University, Korea. Park has an extensive network with government leaders and elites, the academia, the international development community, business circles, the media, and volunteers and NGOs both in Africa and internationally.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

Hardcover Book USD 31.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)