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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