Africa with experiences and inspiration

Abant meeting on Africa organized by the Foundation of Journalists and Writers focused on economic development.

Abant meeting on Africa organized by the Foundation of Journalists and Writers focused on economic development. The participants emphasized that Turkey could become the 15th biggest economy of the world in a very short time with the investments in Africa. Rızanur Meral, President of the Turkey Confederation of Industrialists and Businessmen (TUSKON) underlined the fact that Africa was a new market for Turkey in many fields.

Meral made a speech in the Abant meeting on Africa organized by the Foundation of Journalists and Writers said that they gave great importance to the economic relations with the continent.

Following the first contacts which started 7 years ago, many businessmen wants to come to Turkey, says Meral adding: “But tens of businessmen were constrained by visa. The reason is that we had embassies only in a few countries in the sub-Saharan region in Africa. Those who managed to obtain visa after long periods and efforts also need several days to arrive in Turkey”.

Meral said that the Government increased the number of Turkish embassies in Africa to 34 and THY had flights to 34 destinations in 24 countries. Head of TUSKON continued: “Now the businessmen who wish to visit Turkey may obtain visa in their countries very shortly and visit Turkey by direct flights. This way, the trade volume between Africa and Turkey increased by several times in a very short time”.

Meral said that they enabled the African businessmen visiting Turkey visit factories and he added: “In other countries, you are not allowed to see factories. They worry that the technology would be imitated, but we don’t hide anything. All our guests from Africa visit our factories. This way, many factories have been and are still opened through the cooperation with the local businessmen in tens of countries.”

Meral mentioned about the contributions of the Turkish workers in Europe to the development of Turkish industry and said: “The industrial companies opened by the individuals who went to Europe as workers and returned home had great benefits for the development of industry in Turkey. We, too, would be pleased to provide a voluntary guidance to you.”

Sam Nda Isiah, Nigerian media boss and businessman, noted the increasing effectiveness of China in the continent. Isiah indicated that Chinese companies started to become a monopoly in many fields and said that these companies acted with the support of the state of China. Ahmedou Ould Abdallah, former UN ambassador of Moritania emphasized the fact that China Exim Bank released a loan of USD 67,2 billion to Africa while the World Bank’s loan was USD 54 billion. Abdallah said: “Credit assessment organizations stated that only 1 country was available for investment in 2010 and this number increased to 16. There is a great gap in banking and it is an area where investment can be made. Now, come and invest in this continent. You will become the 15th biggest economy of the world in a very short time.”

Muhammed Bakari, an academician from Kenya, said that the rich people of Africa needed to learn to do charity work. “There is poverty in the continent but there are also many billionaires.  These people need to learn to be useful to the people around them.” Bakari expressed that the Foundation of Journalists and Writers which organized the meeting was a nongovernmental organization consisting totally of voluntary people and added: “African businessmen should perform such initiatives and the number of benefactors should increase. Many problems will be solved more easily and rapidly if we can adopt this custom of the Turkish culture to our continent.”

Following the 3-day meeting, a final declaration was published. The declaration underlined the fact that the organization of a meeting with a focus on Africa by the Foundation of Journalists and Writers was an indicator of a long lasting friendship based on mutual respect and good faith. The declaration pointed to the need to increase similar scientific and social activities in Turkey to promote Africa and included the statement: “Africa is on the verge of a transformation for the first time in its history. In this process, people Africa should become the decision makers not an element of their countries”.


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