A Turkey-based think-tank foundation organized a three-day internet workshop on sustainable development for Africa focused on humanitarian and development assistance programs on the continent. 

On the first day of the workshop by the Africa Foundation, experts discussed development policies in Africa.

On global development policies and Africa, Seyithan Ates, an academic at Ankara Social Sciences University, said aid should support the development model suitable for the region.

Rigorous work should be done on regions, amounts, timing and transfer methods before sending assistance, he said.

Ates said aid should be reshaped in this context to provide sustainable development and stressed it must be for the development of countries, not for gaining commercial advantage.

On the development cooperation policy of Turkey toward Africa, Abdurrahman Korkmaz, an academic at Izmir Katip Celebi University, said Turkey is at the top of the list of most generous countries in regards to humanitarian support as a percentage of gross national income.

He said Turkey’s support and assistance to Africa began in 2005 and continued to increase year-by year.

In addition to humanitarian, one of the most important reasons for making and increasing aid is cultural and religious ties between Turkey and African countries, he said.

On the actors out of the region and their development policies in Africa, Nurgül Bekar, an academic at Ufuk University, said the European Union’s relationship with the region is security-oriented.

She said aid sent by the EU to the region are not only economic, but to find a solution to the migration flow.

She said despite common interests between European and African countries, there are still problems because some EU countries still consider African countries as colonial and some African countries still consider EU countries as colonizers.

The workshop will continue with specialists and experts sharing studies and experiences.

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