UoN hosts symposium with leading experts to unpack Horn of Africa-Turkey relations
On Wednesday, March, 22, 2023, The Department of International Studies and Diplomacy, (UoN) together with, Afrika Vakfi, Africa Foundation, Diplomacy Scholars Association of Kenya (DIPSAK) and The embassy of Türkiye in Kenya, held a Hybrid international Symposium: ‘A paradigm Shift in the Horn of Africa-Turkiye Relations,’ at The Chandaria Auditorium, University of Nairobi (UoN).
The symposium kicked off with welcoming remarks from, the Dean Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Prof. Jack Odhiambo, Deputy Vice Chancellor- Academic Affairs, Prof. Julius Ogeng’o, who was representing the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama, and H.E Ambassador. Subutay Yüksel. During their remarks each distinguished speaker highlighted the long and deep existing relationship between the Turkish government and Horn of Africa countries and African organisations such as the African Union.
During the symposium, Prof. Julius Ogeng’o expressed his gratitude to the international scholars for selecting the University of Nairobi as the venue for the event. He emphasized that the topics discussed at the symposium, such as peace, economics, security, health, and climate, are of great importance in Africa and Türkiye. The professor welcomed all participants to freely engage in academic discussions and express their thoughts and ideas.
Furthermore, the professor emphasized the significance of academic freedom, which would allow everyone to express their views without any restrictions. He reiterated that the symposium would benefit students immensely, as it would broaden their understanding of different cultures and perspectives, and help them develop critical thinking skills. He encouraged the attendees to participate actively in the symposium's activities, as the talks and discussions would help them gain insights and knowledge on various issue
“This symposium presents an opportunity for staff and students to understand global issues and modify in a positive manner the issues that are being discussed. Students will truly benefit from this discussion and talks.” Said Prof. Ogeng’o
In his address, H.E Ambassador Subutay Yüksel acknowledged the burgeoning ties between the Horn of Africa and Turkey, along with the longstanding relationship between Turkey and Kenya, which has evolved and strengthened over the past decade. The Ambassador emphasized the imperative of addressing security challenges as a threat to the sovereignty of our nations, and underscored the shared concerns and interests between the Horn of Africa and Turkey. “It’s our collective responsibility to fight for peace, and directly fight against violence, extremism and radicalization.” Said Ambassador Subutay
The International Symposium on Hybrid Relations between Türkiye and The Horn of Africa was structured into three sessions, each featuring research paper presentations from scholars at diverse universities in different nations including Kenya, Ethiopia, Türkiye, and the United Kingdom. The themes of the sessions revolved around the Türkiye-Horn of Africa relations. Session 1, explored the challenges arising from the proliferation of security issues. Session 2 ,examined the institutionalization of cross-sectoral economic engagement, while Session 3, delved into the opportunities arising from the multiplication of diplomatic spaces.