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Turkey’s vision in Africa is ‘sustainable and people-centered’

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Yavuz Selim Kiran

By Yavuz Selim Kiran

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Turkey

I am often asked how Turkey sees Africa, our priorities and our expectations. An African proverb sums it up: if you want to go fast, walk alone, if you want to walk far, walk together.

Far from being short term, our vision is sustainable and people-centered. Since 2005, our diplomacy has adopted a multidimensional approach, both economic and humanitarian, and obtains clear results: strong increase in our political, commercial, security and cultural ties is proof of its effectiveness.

Our participation in the African Development Bank, our strategic partnership with the African Union and the high-level mutual visits – President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited 28 African countries, including those during his tenure as Prime Minister – have played an important role in building bridges between our peoples. Turkey has 42 embassies in Africa, and we have set ourselves the goal of creating diplomatic representation in the 54 countries.

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Our institutions, which include TIKA Development Agency, Yunus Emre Cultural Institutes, Maarif Foundation for Education, Foundation for Religious Affairs Diyanet, Disaster Response Agency AFAD and our News Agency Anadolu are our flag bearers. Just like Turkish Airlines.

Help during the pandemic

From the start of the pandemic, we knew that a vaccine would be the only real solution to end the crisis. Of the 193 vaccine candidates on the WHO list, 11 are from Turkey.

We want the future vaccine to belong to all mankind and to be produced in sufficient quantities to meet the needs of all countries, and to be distributed free.

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The production of Respirators and personal protective equipment “ Made in Turkey ” made up the majority of our in-kind aid sent to Africa to help fight the pandemic. Approximately 3.5m of masks, one million biohazard blouses and suits, 160,000 test kits and 217 respirators were sent to 45 countries.

At the end of the line

All this work, which mobilizes our ministries, our missions abroad, the Turkish Red Crescent, Turkish organizations abroad, etc., is carried out in conjunction with the coordination and support center of the Ministry of Affairs. foreigners. As President Erdogan often reminds us, our relationship with the continent is based on sincerity, fraternity and solidarity.

This article is available as part of the print edition of The Africa Report magazine: “Africa in 2021 – Who will win and lose in the post-Covid era?”

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