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Istanbul conference explores Turkey-Somalia, East Africa partnerships

Hiiraan Online
Monday December 3, 2018

ISTANBUL (HOL) - An annual meeting in Istanbul aims to push for groundwork for high level collaboration on future Somali-Turkish relations by seeking non-Africans perspectives of the continent in a bid to clarify misconceptions and contribute new perspectives on the New Turkish policy towards East Africa.

Turkey remains a major investor and partner for Somalia and channeled hundred millions of dollars into the post-war horn of Africa nation’s reconstruction efforts. The Turkish government has also built one of its largest embassies in the world in the Somali capital, reflecting the long-term strategic interests it has in Somalia which is recovering from decades of civil unrest.

Meanwhile, this year’s multi-stakeholder platform, The East Africa Development forum which opened at Wish More hotel in Istanbul on Saturday also focuses on the status of Somali and Turkish education system and future opportunities, with participants including head of states, representatives from the United Nations, IGAD and nongovernmental organizations would discuss over ways to help improve the multi-faceted Turkey-Somalia partnerships.

During the 2-day forum, stakeholders are also expected to narrow their debates over some key issues related to the development fields including research, agriculture, industrialization, maritime, and diaspora communities.

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The Turkish Somali Partnership forum also present policy advices for institutional building, good governance, youth empowerment and poverty reduction in Somalia which is struggling to secure funds for its public finance reforms in an effort to rebuild the conflict-ridden country following 30 years of civil unrest.

Convened under the theme of “Stepping Forward”, participants would also explore alternative ways which the immense natural resources of the region could be exploited effectively as parts of the Future Outlook in Turkish Somali Relations and the East African region in general.

In recent years, the Turkish investments in Africa had exceeded $6 billion in value as parts of its foreign investments across the world, with observers say that the Turkish investments in North Africa alone have more than doubled in the past five years, pushing its investments threshold in the continent close to China, Africa’s largest partner.

Turkish firms have mainly targeted countries such as Somalia, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria.

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