By Byron Mutingwende
Zimbabwe enjoys cordial relations with Turkey with common interests between the two nations increasingly pivoted on economic cooperation.
In his address at the Republic of Turkey’s National Day reception held in Harare on 29 October 2018, Ambassador Chitsaka Chipaziwa from Zimbabwe’s ministry of foreign affairs congratulated Turkey on its 95th Anniversary of the Proclamation of the Republic of Turkey.
“Your Excellence, Turkish Ambassador Hakan Kivanc and your citizens, as we join you in celebrating this auspicious day, we acknowledge the cordial relations which exist between our two countries. Our common interests are increasingly pivoted on economic cooperation.
“It is our hope that together we will continue to consolidate in this area as well as broadening partnership into other areas of mutual interest. Let us work harder to encourage more Turkish companies to expand their operations in Zimbabwe,” Ambassador Chipaziwa said.
He emphasised the fact that Zimbabwe is open for business and revealed that the next five years will see government embarking on various activities, which will see the country’s reinstatement as the breadbasket of Southern Africa.
He invited major players in the economy to mix, match and explore further areas of mutually beneficial cooperation. He was gratified by exchange visits by both the two countries’ governments and private sector players.
“Zimbabwe acknowledges and greatly values the existing cooperation with the republic of Turkey in the areas of education and human resources development. The Republic of turkey has continued to support capacity building in Zimbabwe through the provision of scholarships in several key disciplines. The contribution has enabled Zimbabwe to meet some of her key manpower development needs,” Ambassador Chipaziwa added.
His Excellence Hakan Kivanc, the Ambassador of Turkey to Zimbabwe, said the dedication of the Turkish people to freedom that started with the Gallİpoli war is getting even stronger.
“The coup attempt of 15 July 2016 have once again reaffirmed that the Turkish Nation is always unified with its State. Turkey, following the motto of Kemal Atatürk, ‘’Peace at Home, Peace in the World’’, contributes to Peace and Security in Africa though UN, while extending development and humanitarian assistance around 400 million US Dollars, through our cooperation and coordination Agency, Disaster Management and Emergencies Authority and the Turkish Red Crescent,” Ambassador Kivanc said.
He revealed that Turkey ranks the first in the World for humanitarian aid providing almost thirty percent of the total of 27.3 billion US Dollars humanitarian aid provided by Turkey for humanitarian aid.
Total humanitarian aid provided by Turkey in 2017 was around 8 billion US dollars which is nearly 1 percent of its GDP. We still host the highest number of refugees in the World by 3.9 million. We are even hosting the animals of the Alleppo zoo, rescued from the war in Syria.
“Since the opening of our Embassy in Harare in 2011, the political, economic and cultural relations between Zimbabwe and Turkey, as well as people to people relations have further increased. We have signed many documents, and many yet to come.
“I would like to reiterate the strong will of my Government, private sector and NGO’s to support the Government of Zimbabwe in every field. We strongly believe that Zimbabwe, blessed with its highly qualified people, wonderful nature and rich resources will very soon overcome the temporary difficulties and continue to attain the development goals set for 2030,” he added.