2nd Turkey - Africa Defence Security and Space Forum | Bosphorus Declaration (DRAFT)


2nd Turkey - Africa Defence Security and Space Forum was held in the CVK Park Bosphorus Hotel, Istanbul on the date of 07-08 November 2019 as a sub-event of the Istanbul Security Conference titled “New World Architecture of Economy and Security” with the main theme of “African Architecture of Security, and Turkey” under the coordinatorship of TASAM African Institute and National Defence and Security Institute (NDSI). ...

2nd Turkey - Africa Defence Security and Space Forum was held in the CVK Park Bosphorus Hotel, Istanbul on the date of 07-08 November 2019 as a sub-event of the Istanbul Security Conference titled “New World Architecture of Economy and Security” with the main theme of “African Architecture of Security, and Turkey” under the coordinatorship of TASAM African Institute and National Defence and Security Institute (NDSI). 
A broad speaker and protocol participation are provided to the 2nd Turkey - Africa Defence Security and Space Forum from various countries and regions, different fields and sectors. Diplomatic representatives and Ministerial delegations from many African countries took part in the Forum where Tanzania and Uganda were represented with participation at the Minister level. Speeches and presentations were made by domestic and foreign experts, academicians and diplomats in the Forum where Uganda Security Minister Elly TUMWINE, Uganda Defence Minister Adolf Kasaija MWESIGE and Zanzibar State Minister Issa Haji Ussi GAVU were present as the Protocol Guest. Relevant authorities from Turkey and Africa were represented in the Forum, and all the sessions were followed institutionally.
As the African peace and security architecture, climate change in Africa and regional impacts of international organizations such as AMISOM, ECOWAS and UN being in the first place, road maps for the multi dimensional development of Turkey - Africa relations were examined in the Forum, which is conducted under the titles of “Perception of Security in West Africa”, “The Role of International Organizations in Security”, and “Africa and Security”.
Within the scope of the Forum, findings and recommendations, which came to the fore for presenting to the attention of relevant authorities and public opinion, are as follows:
  1. Modern age World History can be remembered as the history of colonialism and revolution. The most important issues in African history are known as slave trade and colonialism. The origin of the problems in Africa today is directly related to this historical past. African geography was shared with the Berlin Congress (France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Portugal and Spain), which was held between 1884 and 1885, and this congress is dated as the starting point of the events and traces that have been reflected on continent. Since the French Revolution (1789-1792), the West has adopted the principles of "Liberty, Equality, Justice and Fraternity", and has stint these principles from African people.
  1. Conflicts and internal disturbance have continued in African countries since the independence process. International actors, particularly the UN Peacekeeping Force, have made various interventions to establish peace. In order to find a solution to these problems within themselves, the African Union countries aimed to ensure economic development and welfare by institutionalizing the NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa's Development) Development Agency. However, not all of them have been successful in achieving economic and social development in the Continent.
  1. In addition to the similarities of African countries, the geopolitical panorama has been created by their differences contains very important data both in terms of their integration and conflict potential. Both intra-continental and international defence and security strategies need to be determined in an approach that does not exploit these qualities of Africa and primarily as an achievement in favour of the Continent.
  1. Concerns that African comprehensive international military strategies feed the regional security crises in the continent need to be taken into account. Africa's failure to properly strengthen its military capacity due to current problems in the both general industry and in the defence industry; creates views that it paves the way for extreme “interventionist” and new “colonist” tendencies. It is understood that the terror term will continue to be used for a long time on the sources as "means of repression of systematic manipulations of competing states."
  1. In addition to the economy and development of the African Continent, the establishment of a democratic society structure is also an important obstacle to be overcome. The re-establishment of social welfare will be possible only through the development efforts that will be realized after the establishment of democratic society and stability.
  1. The African continent is rich in natural resources and raw materials. For instance, the uranium element was taken from the Congo to the United States and turned into an atomic bomb to be thrown into Hiroshima. The existence of raw materials in Africa is still adequate to meet the needs even today. Congo is a country that should be named with the concept of “Geology Tragedy.” This geography, which is very fertile in terms of underground resources, water and natural riches, is very poor in terms of economy and social welfare. It is necessary to build the democratic structure and stability of the institutions in the continent. This process should be followed by the establishment of very basic infrastructures such as education, health and agriculture.
  1. Long-term instability in African Continent, weak political authority, ethnic problems, economic backwardness, scarce resources and epidemics, conflicts and civil wars have made it obliged to establish a higher authority. The organization of African Unity, established in 1967, was replaced by the organization of African Union in 2002, which will also be responsible for peace and security issues. The Council works on the prevention of terrorism, the development of the economy, the revitalization of trade relations, the protection of the natural environment, the sustainable development, the provision of fundamental rights and freedoms, and the strengthening of democratic state structures and what is more it also aims to ensure peace and security. The success of the Union, which has a quite comprehensive vision, can only be achieved by increasing the motivation of the member states in line with the policies. In 2001, African countries launched the "New Economic Partnership for Africa Development" (NEPAD) initiative, which will form the basis of socio-economic development and good governance.
  1. It is clear that trade routes were established close to water resources and harbours when it was examined more closely to African history. Factors such as population which are increasing well above the world average, geographical location, climate change and misuse of water cause the depletion of water resources. Water scarcity has a negative impact on the sustainability of health, food and energy sustainability in the Region, as well as on stability and development. Africa is one of the most vulnerable geographies against climate change. United Nations Sustainable Development Program 2030 Objectives can solve the problems of the African region. International actors should act in cooperation for the sustainable security objectives year of 2030.
  1. The Boko Haram terrorist organization in Nigeria is located in a region near Lake Chad. The people living around Chad Lake are struggling with scarcity and food shortages. Lake Chad, which was quite productive at one time, shrank as a result of wrong practices and faced the risk of extinction. The struggle of the people living in this region with scarcity created an attitude towards the state and prepared the ground for to ensue and strengthening of Boko Haram. The lack of food and water in Lake Chad has created an appropriate environment for the Boko Haram terrorist organization to recruit militants. The terrorist organization used this environment for its own purposes. The given example reveals the necessity of an environmental dimension of the security efforts.
  1. The existing of too many ethnic and religious groups in Africa makes it difficult to read the dynamics of the continent. The perception of the region as a single country by many people prevents the accumulation of in-depth knowledge oriented to Africa. This situation leads to explain the conflicts and terrorist activities in the region by religious and ethnic claims. However, when it is examined thoroughly environmental dynamics are at the root of these conflicts.
  1. The United Nations Sustainable Development Studies reveal that global interventions are inadequate. Although the number of people living in extreme poverty levels has been decreasing since 1990, the increase in needs and global climate change impedes struggle against conflicts and poverty. Natural environmental disasters, sea and ocean water deterioration are affected negatively food safety and human health. In addition to the United Nations Sustainable Development Programs for the African Region, it also transitions to conflict zones with the Peacekeeping Force. The fact that the units only care about military strategies during the transition will create a vulnerable environment against current hygiene and health problems in the region. For example; The Peacekeeping Force that has arrived in the South African region has not developed a network of protection against mosquitoes. Malaria outbreak in the Region has negatively affected the function of the army.  In the light of this information, interventions to be made in the Region should be considered and planned in a multifaceted way and strategies should be developed on hygiene and health factors.
  1. Simulation exercises are in use to revive real world problems. The United Nations Peacekeeping Force is also giving place to various simulation exercises to prepare for interventions in the regions. However, these simulations are inadequate to reflect the real problems in the region and rape is used as a war mean in the region where there are about three million rape cases experienced. International actors, particularly the United Nations, need to develop a reflex against all forms of violence against women, children and the civilian population.
  1. It is necessary to contribute to the construction of strategic cooperation and mutual capacity in the African region, to respond to the need for ecosystem and to continue institutionalization efforts. It is significant how actors working in the region, especially the United Nations Peacekeeping Force, provide the doctrine of accountability. In order to provide accountability, it will be necessary to get to the bottom of the problem and intervention. Coordination of both international actors and regional actors is required for the region. It should be considered how African states can provide their cyber and physical security against developing technology by approaching the differences of the elements of military power of African states and relatively developed states in Africa.
  1. Transforming military power into smart power is one of the requirements of the technological age. Technology and R&D support need to be increased to achieve smart power. For gaining smart power, it is required to have clear-sighted country rulers and the decisions taken by these actors should be universal. The quality and quantity of military power will be the main factor in the transformation of smart power. Armies should attach importance to increasing the number of technical military personnel for attacks that require technology and have changed direction. The existence of a technical military force, especially for cyber-attacks, will strengthen the existence of smart power.
  1. The elements transforming military power into smart power have been evaluated within the international system structure by comparing the developed countries with the rest of the world. The most important result is that nationality become inevitable when it comes to security.  In this regard, Turkey with its past as well as current experiences must develop the instruments that will be channelling the inspirational cooperation potential from the general initiative towards industrial and financial deepening.  Security, defence and defence industries play a key role in building trust and entering all sectors.
  1.  Within an effort to deepen "African engagement", there are differences in the approach of China and Western countries to Africa. Chinese economic relations with the action called "Beijing Consensus", aims to maintain a relationship with a mercantilist approach regardless of the governance structure in the region. The West wing criticizes this strategy with the "Washington Consensus." In particular, the IMF and the World Bank that supported by the West, argue that there should be no economic, financial and commercial relations with these non-democratic countries. Both of these approaches have right and wrong points. For these reasons, cooperation should be developed by finding joint points in the policies to be followed in the Region.
  1. In Africa, it is possible to observe that security is a major problem in many countries. However, it is known that instead of being a smart power transformed by technological and cyber security concepts, military structures still remain “hard power” with the security problem for individuals living in the foreground. In order for what Turkey and all the dynamics of the international system must do regarding the security of continental Africa, Turkey's Mediterranean neighbour, to be beneficial for the entirety of Africa, first they must be capable of utilizing their own dynamics. In this context, African countries should be able to perform their own security, military structures transformations through Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
  1. As emphasized by the 2015-2019 Africa - Turkey Partnership Joint Action Plan, it is of the highest importance that Turkey, in its "strategic partner" level relations as based on the initiative policies of the parties, carefully observes the activities of the actors on the continent such as the U.S, the EU and most importantly China; and develops strategic policies that are very receptive to multilateral negotiations.
  1. It is seen that a security structure in which the countries of the region will participate with their free will becomes a necessity. Otherwise, it is clearly seen that the so-called interventions with existing systems and elements that foreign to the regional culture will continue to cause suffering for the people of the Region rather than solving the problems in the future.
08 November 2019, Istanbul
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