Turkey should play a role in Africa's revival and construction

Today, Africa is a continent that has the world's richest natural resource reserves, youth potential, as well as cultural and historical background.

The continent is known to have extremely rich reserves of gold, diamond, oil, natural gas, and basic industrial raw materials.

Every year, close to 20 million youth join the workforce, and this process will continue for three more decades.

When this potential is utilized well, when education and job opportunities are provided, it may have a very important function in meeting the world's future manpower needs.

It could also be said that the generation of renewable energy using especially solar and wind power will become increasingly widespread - hence reducing environmental pollution, allowing access to energy and providing new job opportunities.

As much as 60 percent of the world's arable land is in Africa, but it is not used. This means, this great potential, the biggest land, enough to feed the world population - i.e. save the world's future - which is expected to reach 11 billion by the end of the century, is in this region.

In other words, the African continent has the potential to eliminate the world's lack of resources in the future with its natural resources, primarily its manpower stock and fertile agricultural land.

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Unless the rich potential this continent possesses is not utilized well (it being the world's poorest region shows that resources are not managed well), it will lead to heavier risks and problems.

One of the most important risks is the lack of good education of the young population, their inability to find employment, and being deprived of an income to provvide their livelihood.

Youth who are unable to find jobs are either going to migrate or incline toward radical organizations.

As a matter of fact, the world's efforts to revive the African continent will contribute in the long term to the prevention of the migration wave and adequate level of production of the food products that are needed.

In other words, being benevolent to Africa will actually serve as countries' investment to their own future.

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Today, 800 million people in Africa have no access to electricity.

A significant portion of the population is deprived of clean potable water.

A suitable environment and income level to continue life in hygienic conditions is out of the question.

Health services, the number of hospitals and doctors is extremely insufficient.

Due to all these conditions, the number of deaths related to epidemics is quite high. Every year, millions of Africans contract fatal epidemics. Part of the African community dies because of illness, part of them from starvation, and some in infighting.

Their educational opportunities are very inadequate and beyond meeting the need of qualified people.

The world standing silent in the face of this great human tragedy in Africa is another peril.

What we are trying to say here is that a region with such great natural, historical, and humane wealth has led to increased poverty in Africa due to bad administration, while poverty in the world is on decline. It is estimated that by 2030, nine out of the world's poorest people will be living in Sub-Saharan Africa and conflict areas.

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Africa's rich resources have not been distributed fairly to all countries (there is no just distribution in the country either).

Autocratic country administrations have also led to limited cooperation between countries in the region, as well as their poor administration.

Increased regional cooperation in recent years is increasing both the wealth and growth of those countries.

The investments made in the region by foreigners remains limited as Africa is a risky area. It is observed that China in particular has discovered the African continent and is making large-scale investments, as well as using the country's resources as raw material in its own industry.

It should also be noted that the European Union is disturbed by China's deep influence on the African continent.

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In recent years, the Turkish government has been trying to increase the interest and cooperation in the African continent. However, at the current point reached, as these efforts for cooperation are not part of a strategy, they are inadequate.

The Republic of Turkey should have a comprehensive strategic plan regarding Africa. This plan should be considered in economic and socio-cultural terms, and should internalize the aim of protecting historical heritage and carrying to the future.

We are going to develop Africa; we are going to provide humanitarian aid, and together - with businesspeople and state power - we are going to help develop, build and revive the countries.

This is what the African continent expects of the Turkish nation, and this is the mission our history has put upon our shoulders.

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