5th Türkiye - Africa Defence Security and Aerospace Forum | 2022 Declaration (Draft)


5th Türkiye - Africa Defence Security and Aerospace Forum whose main theme “The Future Security Ecosystem and Partnership for Strategic Transformation“ was held by TASAM National Defence and Security Institute, together with the 8th Istanbul Security Conference on the date of 04 November 2022 in Ramada Hotel & Suites by Wyndham Istanbul Merter, simultaneously as a sub-event. ...


5th Türkiye - Africa Defence Security and Aerospace Forum whose main theme “The Future Security Ecosystem and Partnership for Strategic Transformation“ was held by TASAM National Defence and Security Institute, together with the 8th Istanbul Security Conference on the date of 04 November 2022 in Ramada Hotel & Suites by Wyndham Istanbul Merter, simultaneously as a sub-event.

Speakers and protocols from various countries and regions, and from different fields and sectors, have participated in the Forum. Diplomatic representatives and delegations from many African countries have also taken part. In the Forum, speeches and presentations were made by local/foreign experts, academics and diplomats. Relevant authorities from Türkiye and Africa were also represented at the Forum, and all sessions were followed institutionally.

The following issues of vital importance in present and future of Türkiye, Africa and the region were discussed at the Forum; “Third Türkiye-Africa Partnership Summit and New Dynamics“, “New Global Regional Dynamics and Africa“, “Rethinking Priorities and their Management“, “New Pandemics; Cyber Security, Food Scarcity, Production-Consumption Security“, “Co-Existence in the Future Security and Defence Ecosystem“, “Defence Industry | Land - Sea - Air - Space | Police - Gendarme - Intelligence - Strategic Sectors“.

As a result of the Forum, the following determinations and recommendations were made, and it was decided to bring them to the attention of all relevant authorities and the public:

  1. The content, vision, proactivity, and depth of the declarations of the first four Forums, published under various names, have been confirmed.

  1. With its rich underground and surface resources, the African continent has attracted the attention of global actors, especially Western states, for centuries. However, since the Cold War, it has a great importance in the foreign policy agendas of global actors for political reasons. Various global actors such as Western states, Russia and China also attach importance to establishing good relations with African states - constituting the largest regional group in the United Nations - in order to support themselves on different issues and to have a stronger political and socio-economic position in the international arena.

  1. As a result of the global developments in the 21st century, it is observed that the hegemonic borders have narrowed and with the effect of this, new actors have come to the fore with their prominent roles in the Continent. These actors, which appear in sub-Saharan Africa with commercial activities, development aid and humanitarian aid, turn into important actors in the field of security over time through different approaches and tools.

  1. In this period when the alliances are reshaped, it is important to make a comprehensive assessment on the similarities and differences between the fields of activity, tools and approaches of China, Russia and Türkiye, which have become the three new security actors of the African continent.

  1. After the 1990s, actors playing roles in the Continent increased. China, Russia, India and Türkiye have been added to the Western actors who have been in the region for a long time. While China started to develop African relations by using soft power elements, especially with its opening-up policy after 2005, it has become the cause of the term "debt trap diplomacy" in the Continent. While the African relations, which Türkiye started to develop again after the Africa Action Plan in 1998, were similarly structured within the scope of foreign aid, it also paved the way for partnership in the context of defense technologies today. The Russian flags waving in the squares after the coups in West Africa brought up the dimension of Russia-Africa relations. The cooperation of many African countries with the Russians with security concerns similar to those in the Cold War period shows that an old method has entered the Continent agenda again.

  1. While China is the largest developing country in the world, Africa is the continent with the largest number of “least developed“, “underdeveloped“ and “developing“ countries. Common past, experiences and similar aims have brought China and Africa closer together. For this reason, since the end of the Cold War, China has expanded its presence and influence in the African continent with a quiet and conservative pragmatism. It is observed that since the 1990s, China has benefited from the withdrawal of the European colonial powers and the decrease in their presence in some markets, and penetrated most of the countries in the Region with a prudent and smart diplomacy.

  1. China's pragmatism; It can be defined as the avoidance of these poles being drawn towards the conflicts and disagreements that govern their relations with each other while simultaneously establishing strategic ties with many of the main actors in Africa. China also stands out with its investments in African countries. For example, the "Belt and Road Initiative", which was presented as China's own globalization model in 2013, has become an important part of the country's foreign policy while drawing attention all over the world. Based on a broad connectivity and transnational investment network in transportation, infrastructure, education, building materials and energy networks, the Initiative aims to build an integrated market that allows China to expand its influence in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

  1. Judging by the markets covered by the Belt and Road Initiative today, this effort not only allows excess Chinese capital to be used in these profitable projects, but also allows for the creation of trade and transport routes needed for Chinese production to exceed world markets. The issue of increasing expansion of China in the African continent; It is important to understand the influence of China in the multipolar world order, to evaluate its activities in Africa and to make sense of its international policy in the coming days.

  1. Looking at the situation in terms of China; the “Common Past Notion“ has the potential to be a balancing factor in Africa's peace and stability on the one hand, and to strengthen authoritarian regimes on the other. From the point of view of Russia, it has gained a reputation for using unofficial, asymmetric and illegal means in Africa. Russia pursues narrow strategic goals in Africa that hinder the long-term stability and progress of the Continent. The increasing influence of Russia in Africa threatens the position of Europe.

  1. China's expansionist activities in Africa are a global political and scientific topic. Therefore, in the political, intelligence and operational discussions on this issue, it is evaluated that the unipolar system of the USA has come to an end and - China has increased its power - and lost its leadership position in the global system. Taking into account the economic potential of Africa, China wants to develop and diversify its relations with the Continent. However, it is also possible that this situation may lead to various disagreements and conflicts with other major powers, such as the USA and France, which are active in the Region. Therefore, although it is thought that China's great financial aid to African countries and its partnerships with countries such as Sudan, Angola and Nigeria are thought to have great results in the short term, it is predicted that it will cause political, economic, demographic and military problems in Africa in the medium and long term. It is possible that the new conditions that will arise in the future will adversely affect the China-Africa relations.

  1. Africa has an important strategic position in Russia's goal of reuniting and becoming a global power in a short time. In addition to its rich underground and surface resources, Africa is seen as a market of tremendous value for medium and long-term investments, with its rapidly developing economies and increasing consumption rates. For this reason, Russia has started to increase its trade and investment initiatives in many African countries. As a result of these developed relations, the total value of trade with the African continent increased by 17% and approached 20 billion dollars in 2019. In addition to trade, it also tries to develop its relations in the field of security.

  1. While France is losing power in Africa, it is seriously concerned about the increasing influence of Russia. For example, while warning the Malian authorities against military relations with the Russians, it is seen that it still draws strength from its former colonial ties and tries to eliminate rising actors in the Region such as Russia. These developments caused a fierce competition between Moscow and Paris for their interests in Africa.

  1. It is emphasized that the security problems in Africa have increased in the power vacuum created as a result of the strengthening of the Russia - France rivalry instead of the USA - China rivalry and the danger of political division in Africa with the Ukraine War. Along with these, it is underlined that the real loser of the competition is the African people.

  1. The war between Russia and Ukraine has caused a shock wave effect in Africa, which has already been shaken by Covid-19. The so-called traditional allies or European partners, including France, have withdrawn from the Continent after failing to address political crises and resolve issues of insecurity, particularly in the troubled Sahel region. At this juncture, the African Union desperately needed a reliable strategic partner who could implement sound policies to help solve the problems facing many African countries. China and Türkiye have been trying to take a more active place in the Continent for more than fifteen years. Both China and Türkiye have established military installations in Djibouti and Somalia, respectively, and both countries have pushed for economic, political reforms and infrastructure developments. While the African Union aims to promote peace and development in the Continent, it is emphasized that it is partially responsible for the lack of finance and reliable partners, insecurity and underdevelopment of the Region.

  1. The holding of elections in 18 African countries in 2022 shows that the Continent adheres to democratic governments. The situations that emerged after military coups in countries such as Angola, Kenya, Libya, Senegal as well as Chad, Guinea, Mali and Sudan remain unclear. The African Union and the Economic Community of West African Countries (ECOWAS) encourage the military leaders of these countries, which have suffered a military coup, to switch to civilian rule.

  1. The continent has 2.1% of international exports and 2.85% of imports in 2020 and has not been able to play a sufficient role in global trade. It was emphasized that if the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) is implemented properly, a development can be achieved to improve this situation. In addition, the Pan-African Payments and Settlement System (PAPSS) provides for facilitating trade between African countries. With the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the digital economy has become a policy with political priority in Africa.

  1. When we look at the African continent in terms of security, many problems come to the fore. These are military coups and intra-state conflicts that threaten regional stability, as seen in the Ethiopian example. The situation caused by Boko Haram in Mozambique, West Africa is also noteworthy. On the other hand, resolving the issue between the Ethiopian Government and the Tigray People's Liberation Front has a top priority. Because the current situation has the potential for a bloody war. Climate change is also an important issue.

  1. Migration is another important problem of Africa. In 2022, 3.4 million Africans had to migrate in East Africa and the Horn of Africa due to the climate effect. In this context, drought in the Horn of Africa and flooding in South Sudan also affected migration. The great security crisis in the Horn of Africa (civil war, ethnic conflicts, religious extremism, terrorism, etc.) directly affects all countries in the sub-region. This situation poses a major security crisis, political crisis and humanitarian problem at the regional level.

  1. In terms of international politics; China - Africa relations, China - Africa Cooperation Forum, Dakar Action Plan, 2035 China - Africa Vision (FOCAC) are important developments. In Kenya - China relations, billions of euros of railway contracts are important. It is considered that the impact of the Kovid-19 outbreak will continue. It is envisaged that Islamist groups may increase their activities in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in the Gulf of Guinea and East Africa.

  1. With the COP27 Summit of the United Nations Climate Change Conference being held in the Continent in November 2022, climate change problems came to the fore. On the other hand, with the decision titled "A Common Vision for 2030" at the 6th EU - African Union Summit held in Brussels on 17-18 February 2022, common goals for solidarity, security, peace and economic development were set.

  1. The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, the quasi-judicial body of the African Union, adopted and published Resolution 473 on artificial intelligence technologies. The decision is of great importance as it is the first in the Continent in this sense. The resolution calls on states parties to ensure that emerging technologies remain under “meaningful human control“. In this context, the main purpose of the study is to evaluate the nature and content of the decision numbered 473 of the Commission on autonomous weapon systems.

  1. The geopolitical panorama created by the similarities and differences of African countries contains serious data in terms of integration and conflict potentials. Intra-continental and international security strategies need to be determined with an approach that will not exploit these qualities of Africa and will see it primarily as a gain in favor of the Continent. Concerns that international military strategies are feeding regional security crises in the Continent should be taken into account.

  1. There are opinions that Africa's inability to properly strengthen its military capacity due to its current problems both in industry in general and in the defense industry in a narrow sense paves the way for extreme "interventionist" and new "colonial" tendencies. It is understood that the "terror" motif will continue to be used for a long time as a "pressure tool of the systematic manipulations of competing states" on resources.

  1. Policies that prioritize structural adjustment for development and security problems, which are also one of the main causes of migration in the continent, can also feed political and economic crises by having the opposite effect.

  1. Socioeconomic transformation is not independent of security, nor is it independent of science, technology and innovation. It is a long overdue need for Türkiye to develop a new ecosystem vision in defense, security, informatics and space, in line with the future vision of the Continent (Africa 2063) and contributing to mutual capacity development, with well-defined competition and inventory boundaries and strategic layers. It has been confirmed that supporting this vision with macro and sectoral framework programs/projects in order to mutually exalt the existing achievements is not a choice but a necessity for Africa and Türkiye.
04 November 2022, Istanbul
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Continents ( 5 Fields )
 Contents ( 472 ) Actiivities ( 219 )
TASAM Africa 0 149
TASAM Asia 0 236
TASAM Europe 0 44
TASAM Latin America & Carribea... 0 34
TASAM North America 0 9
Regions ( 4 Fields )
 Contents ( 178 ) Actiivities ( 54 )
TASAM Balkans 0 93
TASAM Middle East 0 62
TASAM Black Sea and Caucasus 0 16
TASAM Mediterranean 0 7
Identity Fields ( 2 Fields )
 Contents ( 176 ) Actiivities ( 75 )
TASAM Islamic World 0 147
TASAM Turkic World 0 29
TASAM Türkiye ( 1 Fields )
 Contents ( 229 ) Actiivities ( 60 )
TASAM Türkiye 0 229

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