KIU Hosts Chairman Africa Friendship Association

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By Tiffany Patel Linda

On Tuesday 19th February 2018, Kampala
International University (KIU) hosted Mr. Semsettin Turkan, the African
Friendship Chairman at the University IBM Library for a discussion on “The
Challenges Facing African Youth.”

Mr. Turkan said that the increasing level of unemployment and poverty among youth is extracted from the low levels of education
or altogether a lack of education because
the available jobs need higher qualifications like a Diploma, Bachelors, or a Masters
Degree thus leaving most of the youth unemployed who then spend much of their
time on non-productive things like
gambling. He gave an example of a recent soccer match between Arsenal and
Manchester United which lasted over 90 minutes saying, “the youth in Kenya and
other African countries spend over an hour watching European soccer matches
where players are paid millions of dollars
and instead of these youth working to earn something for themselves, they just
wasted all those minutes on football and without any financial gains. This behavior increases poverty among the youth.”

Mr Turkan also talked about the effects of
colonialism which created cultural diversity. Citing the example of Nigeria and
Niger who had relatively the same culture and were really good neighbors but as a result of different colonial
masters, their communication was dismantled.  Now both countries cannot work efficiently to develop their youth since they
use different national languages with Niger
using French and Nigeria using English.

In his solutions to the above challenges, Mr.
Semsettin encouraged the students to apply for sponsorships in Turkey via their
organization, the African Friendship Association, who give 5000 scholarships
every year to African students who wish to study in Turkey for Bachelors,
Masters, and Ph.D programs. He added that these scholarships come with free
accommodation, feeding, and upkeep of up to one million Ugandan Shillings
per month. He encouraged the youth to apply online at a free cost to decrease the number of uneducated
African youth.

Mr. Turkan also advised the youth to feed their minds with information from their countries, for example, supporting the products and
services from within. He gave an example
of supporting soccer teams like KCCA FC,
SC Villa and so on. This will earn the
country revenue and boost the businesses of African youth.

He also encouraged youth to fight colonialism using
peaceful means instead of through violence. He said “I have two people I admire
in creating peace and stopping colonialism: one is Nelson Mandela of South
Africa and Mahatma Ganda of India.  These
two used peaceful talks and at the end of
the struggle their countries got independence.” 
He then suggested that since violence leads to loss of innocent lives
and destruction of the already built infrastructures, youth should adopt peaceful
talks to achieve what they want.

Finally, when it came to commercial projects and unity among youth which will help to
develop one another, Mr. Turkan said that their organization organizes activities
that support financial projects. He went on to explain that the same opportunity
had been given to over a hundred students
in Kenya and Somalia and thus urged the youth to join their organization, work
with their projects and as a result, they would gain skills and full financial
support for their own personal development. 

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