EAST AFRICA DEVELOPMENT FORUM

EAST AFRICA DEVELOPMENT FORUM

 

   Turkish-Somali Partnership "Stepping Forward"

                     The Foundations of Turkish-Africa Relations

Dr. Abdirahman Baadiyow was on other keynote speaker at the session of The Foundations of Turkish-Africa Relations, his lecture was titled Somali-Turkish Relations: Past and Present. Dr.Abdirahman Baadiyow is a former military officer, an Islamic scholar and socio-political activist. He is one of the founders of Mogadishu University and the chair of its Board of Trustees. He authored several regarded books and published numeruous papers.

In his lecture he commenced with the enabling factors of the Somali-Turkish Relations which makes the two countries to be bounded strategically. In listing these factors he mentioned that both the two countries are frontier Muslim states where they are located in the frontline of Muslims and Non-Muslims. The second factor is the geostrategic importance of the two countries where both countries are located geographically in a very and vital strategic location. The third factor which the two nations share is the transported ethnic extensions where the two nations’ people spreaded in a wide geographical area. The fourth factor is the huge diasporic communities both countries have, where there is nearly six million Turkish diaspora and two million Somali diasporas living in all countries in the world. The fifth factor they share is entrepreneurship sprit both communities have.

Dr. Abdirahman Baadiyow considered the Islam as the foundation of the Turkish-Somali Relations and Somalis always offered allegiance to the Muslim Ummah since the penetration of Islam to the Horn of Africa in the 7th century.

In his speech he talked about the strategic location of Somalia as a country been endowed the longest cost line in Africa. Through its territorial waters more than thirty-three thousand commercial ships are passing annually. Proceeding in his speech Dr. Abdirahman Baadiyow mentioned that the strategic geographical location of Somalia is both an asset and liability, it attracted multiple superpower revilers, terrorist organizations and pirates. Although the challenges the Somali people showed patience and endurance   and created a large private sector in the last two decades and the Somali private sector is growing in a magnificent level. Also, he mentioned that Somalia has un-tapped natural resources such as oil, gas and plant full marine resources. He emphasized that Somalia is currently recovering from economic and social destruction and the political framework is laid down.

As he was talking the strategic importance of Turkey, he stated that Turkey is a rising regional power which connects east to the west. Also, it borders with eight countries and controls a very important strait. He mentioned that the rise of AK Party to the power in 2002 gave a push forward in activating this strategic position to gain a soft power. He talked about how the Turkish soft power is growing in Somalia due to its successful combination of Islam and democracy and its humanitarian and developmental role in Somalia.