Serkan Kayalar, TIKA’s President, Met African Students at the “Conversations with TADD”
Attending the conference “Conversations with TADD,” held by the Association of the Friends of Africa (TADD) at Fatih Culture and Arts Center, as a guest speaker, Serkan Kayalar, TÄ°KA’s President, met African students and informed them about TÄ°KA’s activities on the continent.
Expressing his gratitude to the Association of the Friends of Africa for the meaningful event they organized and to Ergün Turan, Mayor of Fatih, for the venue they allocated, Kayalar said: “Africa has enormous potential. As TÄ°KA, we believe in the future of Africa and plan our activities accordingly. We believe that this beautiful continent will shine in the coming years.”
Kayalar noted that they have had the culture of assistance since the Ottoman era, reminded that assistance was part of their own culture and moral values, and stressed the importance of assistance, solidarity, and experience sharing for Turkey since the early Republican period. Kayalar stated that TÄ°KA was a Turkish agency developing projects in the field of development cooperation, and that they have implemented various projects in their geographical area of operation.
Kayalar said that TÄ°KA was established in 1992 and that they would celebrate their 30th anniversary in January.
He added that TÄ°KA opened its first offices in Turkic Republics and later opened new offices in the Balkans and other regions. He said, “We have implemented 2,000 projects in 10 years between 1992 and 2002. We have so far implemented a total of 30,000 projects, with 2,000 projects a year. Why did the number of projects increase? It is because the stories of Turkey and TÄ°KA are intertwined. Since 2000, Turkey has been undertaking strong initiatives, has had a strong political will, and has adopted an entrepreneurial foreign policy focused on diplomacy, especially humanitarian diplomacy. We have adopted the following words of our President as our motto and slogan: ‘We will extend our helping hand to all parts of the world. Turkey will be there for everyone in need. We will help them as much as we can.’ Now, we pursue the mission of extending our helping hand and helping everyone as much as we can in partnership with our government agencies and valuable NGOs, such as TADD.”
Referring to the diplomatic relations with Africa and the assistance provided, Kayalar said that each African student is an ambassador.
Kayalar underlined that President Erdogan is the leader to pay the highest number of official visits to Africa, and stressed the historical importance of the President’s visit to Mogadishu in 2011 for Somalia and Africa. He said, “Africa has enormous potential. As TÄ°KA, we believe in the future of Africa and plan our activities accordingly. Young people under the age of 25 make up half the population of the continent, which will have a population of 2.4 billion in 2050. We believe that this beautiful continent will shine in the 2050s.”
Serkan Kayalar, TÄ°KA’s President, also visited the photography exhibition “The Unknown Side of Africa,” where photographs taken by photography artists who went to Africa were exhibited.
Speaking to an AA reporter at the exhibition, Kayalar said, “As TÄ°KA, we have been carrying out our activities in Africa through our offices since 2005. We opened our Ethiopia Office, our first office on the continent, in 2005. As a result of our effective foreign policy, we now have offices in 22 African countries. We implement projects in more than 50 African countries, in other words all over the continent, in numerous fields from health to education, to the development of institutional infrastructure, to capacity building programs. Our goal for 2022 is to diversify our projects and reach all parts of Africa.”
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA).