President Recef Erdoghan of Turkey, through the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, has announced that the country is committed to ensuring that the Turkish development assistance to African countries is in line with the priorities of African countries and African Union.
During the Turkey-Africa Day, which was held recently, Minister Çavuşoğlu explained that Turkey’s humanitarian engagements in Africa, as well as other parts of the world, are aimed at introducing permanent solutions rather than makeshift remedies for structural problems. This humanitarian policy, according to him, comprises social responsibility projects conducted with the active involvement of Turkish civil society and business sector, and that has achieved improving countless lives on the ground.
“In formulating and implementing development projects, the wellbeing of societies is always a priority of Turkey’s official development effort. In this regard, Turkey establishes infrastructure and takes necessary measures for the sustainability of these undertakings to the benefit of local societies and put emphasis on capacity building at every step of the way,” he said.
For instance, two Turkish hospitals were commissioned in conflict ridden regions: Darfur and Mogadishu. These training and research hospitals were officially inaugurated in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
“Turkish government could have taken the easy way by handing over the keys of the hospitals to the Sudanese and Somali authorities after completing the construction and refurbishment. Instead, Turkey, together with the local authorities, has established joint management teams for the hospitals for the next five-year-period. By doing so, we are ensuring both the high quality health services, provided by over 100 Turkish doctors and health professionals, and training the future local managers and staff of the hospitals.”
We continue encouraging the Turkish NGOs and entrepreneurs to be socially aware of the current and future needs and requirements of the people, wherever they operate. This approach will remain as one of our ultimate operating principles in providing humanitarian and development assistance.”
Like what the country is doing in over 140 countries, he explained that Turkish development agencies would provide educational infrastructure, vocational training, proper health services and aid mechanised farming across the country.
“Our target is not for specific people, but the entire citizens of the country that have been deprived access to quality education and acquisition of vocational skills among other challenges. We know that the country has great population and great opportunities, and we are set to assist it to explore its potentials. As long as the Memorandum of Understanding is signed, we will start building our branches across Nigeria. We have done that in Ethiopia, Cameroon, Uganda and the President has instructed us to replicate same in Nigeria,” he added.
Meanwhile, Turkish businessmen and investors, while creating employment for local youth, are also developing corporate responsibility projects to alleviate the suffering of the people affected by natural and man-made disasters.