By Ayele Addis ( & Minasse Wondimu

Turkey’s economic and political relations with Africa have increased significantly since it announced 2005 as ‘The Year of Africa’. It subsequently opened 42 new embassies in Africa until 2019 and has strengthened its institutional relations with the African Union (AU), Media Companies and human skill development on the area, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

The African Union declared Turkey a strategic partner in 2008, having granted it observer status at the AU in 2005. Turkey has been playing an active role in UN peacekeeping operations in Africa. Turkey continues in organized the Africa-Turkey different type of world level Summit in Istanbul and Ankara and both Turkey and Africa rose in a ‘Cooperation Framework for a Turkey-Africa Partnership’ among investment, capacity building, trade, security, education, and so on.

One of the leading human resource contribution from turkey is Africa Media Training Program (AFMED) took place in Istanbul hosted by organized by Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) in cooperation with the African Researchers Association (AFAM), African Coordination and Training Center (AKEM) and Anadolu Agency (AA).

AFMED Program aims to enhance mutual cooperation between Turkey and African countries by supporting experience sharing in the field of media. To ensure this, it offers both practical and theoretical training of 3 weeks’ duration and includes stakeholder’s visits, internship opportunities in the leading institutions of Turkey.  Representatives of 13 of the 20 journalists of African Media Training Program began in Turkey, bringing together African countries. Within the scope of the training which will take place in Istanbul and Ankara between October 21 and November 12, African press members will receive much training such as Agenda and Resource in Journalism, Crisis Journalism, Media Economy in the World and Interview Techniques.

In the opening program of the African Media Representatives Training Program AFAM President Professor Dr. Ahmet Kavas, mentioned that the Program is the evidence of Turkey’s cooperation with Africa and African people. The world is going through a stage in which border and distance become less important every day and world is becoming a global village yet during this process a one system of government is imposed under the name of globalization. Not only bad news is negatively affected Turkey but other Africans too, countries are affected during this time. Dr. Ahmet Kavas said besides the communication and cooperation in the international arena, people-to-people interactions are very important and the reason African journalists were invited to participate in the program.

“It is the responsibility of journalists to safeguard the security of society as well as promote positive information on reforms in their country. It is also their obligation to eliminate misunderstandings that exist between countries,” he said.

Up until today, Trade and Economic Partnership Agreements were signed with 40 different African countries in order to strengthen economic and commercial relations. Within DEİK, there are Business Councils that are actively connected with 34 African countries.

The Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) and Turkish broadcaster TRT inaugurated the “Arakan Media Training Program” on this Monday.   “We define this program as media training, but the main purpose is to consolidate brotherhood between the two communities,” Abdullah Eren, the head of YTB, said at the opening ceremony. He said that YTB is committed to promoting cooperation between Turkey media and media around the world including African media. While introducing turkey to the outside world, YTB also makes an effort in introducing foreign countries to Turkey such as their development achievements, advanced ideas and heart-touching human stories. It is hoped that journalists from Africa countries can share their Turkey stories and feelings about Turkey with their media in Africa.

YTB President Abdullah Eren’s speech, he identified the Program’s main goal and it is to strengthen relations of Africa-Turkey and to gain mutual benefit despite global financial and economic cooperation. In addition, Africa provides a great opportunity via its historical Allie to African development, investment, educational support, young population and demographics development, plus, many African countries hosted many forums in order to attract foreign investment and strengthen their economy.  Abdullah Eren said it was his hope that the program will serve as a platform for the journalists to develop their knowledge, interaction, collaboration and media partnership in order to enhance communication.

“During the interactive program, those in attendance agreed to have turkey and African journalist participation, where journalists between the African countries can learn and share information that will lead to deeper Turkey-Africa cooperation,” he said.

Mayor Mehmet Tevfik Göksu, appreciated the program, saying the purpose of the program was to build a bridge for Turkey and Africa among journalists. Mayor Mehmet Tevfik Göksu speech, he asserted that “Turkish government believe in Africa will be the growth engine for the coming years. Many people of these countries have intention to know Africa. If the journalists cannot come here in Turkey, so they cannot get first-hand information about Turkey; our objective is also to help them in the program to have more direct contact with Turkey people, and then they can introduce the real picture of Turkey to their people in their countries,” he said.

“It is my hope that media from the two sides do more to become friendship facilitators of practical cooperation and guardians of harmonious coexistence,” Mayor Mehmet Tevfik Göksu said in his congratulatory message.

Meanwhile, total of 10,480 African students who graduated from Turkish universities serve their countries as Turkey’s “peace ambassadors”. Currently, Turkey strives to increase the number, capacity and potentialities of our diplomatic missions in African countries, Turkish non-governmental organizations help Turkey’s “African brothers and sisters” all over the continent by taking serious risks.Beyond selling products, Turkish investors are focusing on projects that create employment and enable the development and strengthening of Africa.

On the other hand, Turkey and African multilateral relations, which reached $24 billion trade exchange, is increasing day by day, tourism is developing, cooperation between the [African] countries and Turkey is strengthening, and the number of mutual visits is increasing at a high level. The trade volume between Turkey and Africa will exceed $50 billion dollars in the coming period.

The 2019 African Media Representative program is part of the training for African journalists from Africa. The courses have received intense attention and strong support from the Turkey government and other developing countries’ governments, becoming a bridge for friendship and cooperation between Turkey and African countries.

By providing a platform for communication and discussion, the Program courses aim to enhance friendship and cooperation between Turkey and other developing countries and to promote development in human resources, the economy and society

October 21 to November 12 between Istanbul and scope of the program will be held in Ankara Africans will be held in different areas related to media reporters theoretical and practical training as well as experience sharing and seminar programs in Turkey’s leading media institutions ranks realization. Ethiopia, Morocco, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, Tanzania, Tunisia, Chad, Liberia, Senegal and the language of the training will be English.

Participants, Social Media and Online Journalism, Agenda and Resources in Journalism, Data Journalism, Crisis Reporting, the World Media Economics, Interview Techniques, Turkey’s Image and Impact of Media in Social Transformation, will be trained in subjects such as Photo and Video Applications. The program, which includes 18 courses to be taught by 18 trainers, will end with a visit to various institutions in Ankara.

The African participants said the program will offer a great opportunity to entrench greater friendship and cooperation between the journalists as well as develop their capabilities to do their work effectively.

Organized to provide African media representatives with the opportunity to provide theoretical and practical training in the field of media, the opening of the training started with the presentation of promotional videos of the collaborating institutions.

One of the participants, Linus Unah, a Nigerian reporter, said the three-week media training programme would be a good venue to share Turkey’s expertise with African countries.

“This programme will create good ties between Afircna and participating nations,” he said. “Through the programme, I believe that I will gain more knowledge, self-assurance and solidarity that money can’t buy.” The other participant, Rahawa, a journalist from Tanzania, expressed her acknowledge behalf of the participants to Turkish government and stakeholders who is takes responsible to its media development for African. On the same Occasion, These journalists participated in the TRT world two days international summit.