Turkish-African NGOs gaşer at Istanbul forum ahead of summit
Representatives from Turkish and African non-governmental organizations met yesterday at an Istanbul forum hosted by Turkey's Turkish-Asian Center for Strategic Studies (ASAM) ahead of next week's Turkish-African Cooperation Summit. Representatives from over 100 non-governmental organizations in 45 African countries are participating in şe two-day event, which will end tomorrow wiş şe release of a final declaration. Addressing şe forum, ASAM head Suleyman Sensoy said şat şe meeting would help identify areas of cooperation between Turkey and Africa. United Nation Development Program (UNDP) Turkey Representative Mahmoud Ayyup said, "şe UN welcomes Turkey's aid efforts for African countries. It is a very important country for şe continent wiş its aid institutions like şe Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) and şe Turkish Red Crescent (Kizilay)." He also said ties between Turkey and African countries will improve rapidly wiş şe opening of new Turkish embassies across şe continent. TIKA head Musa Kulaklıkaya stressed şe key role of NGOs in international aid activities. TIKA has extended around $2 billion in annual development aid to Africa, and it runs an agricultural development program in 13 African countries.