4th Turkey - Africa Defence Security and Space Forum whose main theme “Security and Defence: Strategic Transformation“ was held by TASAM African Institute and TASAM National Defence and Security Institute, together with the 7th Istanbul Security Conference on the date of 04 November 2021 in DoubleTree by Hilton Istanbul Atasehir Hotel & Conference Centre simultaneously as a sub-event.


A broad speaker and protocol participation is provided to the Forum from various countries and regions, different fields and sectors. Diplomatic representatives and Ministerial delegations from many African countries took part in the Forum. Speeches and presentations were made by domestic and foreign experts, academicians and diplomats in the Forum. Relevant authorities from Turkey and Africa were represented in the Forum, and all the sessions were followed institutionally.

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


  1. The geopolitical panorama created by the differences as well as the similarities of the African countries contains extremely important data in terms of both integration and conflict potentials. Both intra-continental and international defence and security strategies; There is a need for Africa to be determined in a way that does not exploit these qualities and primarily with an approach that evaluates it as gain in favour of the Continent.


  1. Concerns that comprehensive international military strategies are fueling regional security crises on the Continent must be taken into account. Africa's inability to properly strengthen its military capacity due to the current problems both in the industry in general and in the defence industry to a limited extent; There are opinions that it paves the way for extreme "interventionist" and new "colonial" tendencies. It is understood that the motif of "terrorism" will continue to be used on the resources for a long time as a tool of pressure for the "systematic manipulations of the competing states".


  1. It is thought that policies that prioritize "structural adjustment" for development and security problems, which are also one of the main causes of the migration problem, have the opposite effect and feed political and economic crises. Socioeconomic transformation is not independent of security; is not independent of science, technology and innovation. Turkey's; In the fields of defence, security, informatics and space research, the potential of new strategic projects that are compatible with the future vision of the Continent and that will contribute to mutual capacity development is quite high.


  1. Developments in the last ten years, including the pandemic, that have had the same effects as in a century; It has been a critical milestone for the change of production, consumption, growth and conventional power standards, including security and defence. Again, scenarios and preparations for the reinterpretation of the national and international immune system and strategic transformation have become a priority issue. In this context, studies and cooperation for the “Security/Defense/Space Ecosystem and Strategic Transformation of the Future“ have become the locomotive priority for each country.


  1. In relations that have reached the stage of "Strategic Partnership", Turkey's; It is important that actors such as the USA and the EU, especially China, carefully observe their activities in the Continent and develop their strategic policies with a reflex open to multilateral negotiations.


  1. The climate problem is one of the biggest problems of our time. According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report, warming in the atmosphere and ocean systems can be seen as a product of human beings. The increase in the melting rate of the Antarctic and Greenland glaciers is a visible example of climate change. These temperatures can cause major problems on the ecosystem and especially threaten human health and the health of other living species. Looking at the IPCC report, it is expected that the melting of polar glaciers will accelerate further and thus the global water cycle will change. In addition to these, changes in expected drought and humidity values ​​in many regions threaten human health and life in particular. When these factors are in question, climate can be counted at the beginning of the reasons for migration, but when the definition of the concept of "refugee" used for people who have migrated is examined, it is seen that the force majeure caused by climatic conditions is not mentioned. British Environmentalist Prof. Norman Myers determined as a result of his analysis that 200 million people will be immigrants in 2050 due to changing climatic conditions.


  1. Since the factors that cause climatic migration to vary, the solutions to the problem are also different. Employment resources based on green economy and blue economy values ​​should be created in places that are affected by climate change and make a living from agriculture and animal husbandry; Concrete steps such as international coordination efforts, strengthening early warning systems, legislation and infrastructure studies should be taken to reduce migration due to natural disasters that may occur as a result of climate change. To solve the problems, states and international organizations rather than individuals need to take new political and structural decisions with ecological philosophy and put them into practice urgently.


  1. One of the regions that will be most affected by climate change is Africa. With the already existing drought in the African region, the decrease in precipitation and the increase in temperature in the Region in recent years will cause problems in people's access to water; Flooding will occur in some regions and these problems will adversely affect agriculture and livestock sector. All these will cause an increase in disease rates in the Region. The effects of severe flooding in Sub-Saharan Africa between 2008 and 2010 can be given as an example of this situation. People affected by climate change have to migrate from rural areas to cities to maintain their quality of life. The problem of increasing diseases brought about by climate change in the region can be exemplified by Covid-19, especially during the pandemic period. Both the problems experienced in the Region and the fact that the people in the Region have become obliged to climate migration necessitate the development and acceleration of studies on the subject. In particular, the rights of climatic migrants, who had to migrate due to climate change, should be protected by decisions taken from a humanist perspective.


  1. Looking at the origins of political and economic instability in the Sahel geography; The factors that can be listed as environmental and food crises arising from unproductive lands, political and economic instability due to coup attempts and French plunder, terrorist movements spreading slowly in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger since the 2000s, and the competition of global powers can be seen. In this context, terrorist acts that facilitate the penetration of global powers into the Region; In addition to the peacekeeping and maintenance operations led by France, the initiatives of the Russian mercenary group Wagner in Mali in recent months; China's efforts to be effective in the military bureaucracy staff of the regional states; Events such as Algeria and Mali experiencing significant diplomatic crises with France indicate that there is a global power struggle in the Sahel. Based on this claim, the basic question is; How the rise of Eastern actors such as China, Russia and Turkey will affect the current political, economic and cultural interests of Western states in the Sahel. The fact that these effects are leverage that will contribute to the stability and prosperity of the Region will confirm the reason for the existence of the new powers.


  1. Africa is one of the centers of power struggle known for its colonial history. To France, America and England, which are involved in the power struggle in Africa; Eastern actors such as Turkey, China and Russia were also added. One of the main reasons for the power struggle is the instability problem in the region where the struggle is taking place. Considering the Sahel region, where instability problems are experienced in Africa, the origins of this instability are; food and environmental crises, political instability and security gaps, vulnerable economy and foreign interventions. Climate changes have caused drought in the Sahel region of Africa, and this drought has also brought about famine, erratic rainfall and reduced access to water resources. The fact that France, which has been present in the Region for a long time, continues to implement its behind-the-scenes colonialism policies and the presence of terrorist organizations operating in the Region has made the Sahel more open to foreign interventions.


  1. Undoubtedly, the Republic of Turkey in the world where globalization has made distances increasingly insignificant; First, has to deepen its initiative policies towards Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America regions, especially the Balkans, North Africa and Sub-Saharan African countries, with the awareness of the legacy it inherited from the Ottoman Empire following the principle of succession (succession) valid in the lands where the Ottoman Empire ruled and in international law. He acts with the awareness that he is. This sense of duty has become evident as a missionary mission with historical background, symbolized by the founding philosophy of the Republic of Turkey. As a natural consequence of the policies of the opening, after the declaration of "Africa Year" in 2005 in Turkey, a new understanding of relations was achieved, and a climate in which both sides won was established.


  1. The development of economic relations with Africa has formed an important part of the Opening to Africa Action Plan. It is envisaged that trade, mutual encouragement of investments, prevention of double taxation, and economic, technical and scientific cooperation agreements with African countries to establish the legal infrastructure in economic terms. It has also been suggested that Turkey should become a member of the African Development Bank as a non-regional donor country. Other measures related to economy and trade are also included in the Action Plan. It has been determined that these recommendations have been realized to a large extent.


  1. Within the scope of the potential effects of development aid and security aid; It is possible to be effective in creating a welfare and peace process if policies are designed by the donors that integrate both the interests of the recipient and the military needs. Accordingly, unlike negative aid, which can have disastrous results, as seen in the Horn of Africa, positive aid; will turn armed conflict into peace by removing the root cause of violent conflict. each case; requires a special methodology following local identity, customs and traditions.


  1. There is no doubt that a much better future awaits the African continent, which has rich natural and human resources. With this; It is also necessary to accept the fact that the existence of democratic regimes that respect human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law is a necessary and even a prerequisite for sustainable development.


  1. Both Western and Eastern states, especially France, exist in the Region with their military forces, both based on private military companies and to ensure peace. However, France insists on preserving its current presence in the Region and expresses this insistence to other actors trying to increase its presence in the Sahel region without hesitation. The main purpose of these actors and terrorist organizations in the Sahel region is to gain access to raw materials in the Region.


  1. Having the strategic ports of the Maghrib region, Libya (Tripoli) is now the most critical point of the conflict of interest in the Mediterranean. The “Agreement on the Limitation of Maritime Jurisdiction“ signed between Turkey and Libya in 2019 created new balances in the Mediterranean. Libya is the second opening point after Syria in Russia's warm seas policy, and recently, Russia's mercenary organizations including former Russian army members such as Wagner have increased. All these are the elements that cause the current civil war and instability in the country to continue.


  1. Technologies related to unmanned systems have come a long way. Many technologies, especially UAVs, are used with air, land and sea systems. Artificial intelligence and fully autonomous robotic technologies will lead to a paradigm shift in all areas from conflict management, enforcement and law in the future. While developing in this field, different environments such as conventional weapons such as hypersonic missiles or cyber threats must not be forgotten.


  1. As the need in African countries increased more after the Covid-19 epidemic, Turkey provided active aid in the Region through TIKA. This is seen as a prestige issue for Western countries and initiatives can be taken through intelligence agencies.


  1. Africa's entrenched security problems seriously disturb the peace of mind of the Region. Terrorism is disrupting the dynamics of Africa. There is a need to determine an approach that does not exploit these qualities of Africa and evaluates it primarily as a gain in favour of the Continent.


  1. Turkey carries out significant studies in this regard. Weapons and equipment support are given to African countries; The support is given to officer/non-commissioned officer, private/non-commissioned officer training and the military schools established to ensure the formation of qualified military units in the Region and a single-handed reflex against terrorism with the institutional army order.


  1. Cooperation between academia-higher education institutions for law enforcement education of countries or establishment of law enforcement colleges with special status directly is issued on the agenda recently. For example, establishing partnerships with higher education institutions in the context of the Police Qualifications Training Framework (PQEF) prepared in the UK in 2016, and accrediting the education of law enforcement units to other universities in return for the gendarmerie in Italy and Spain are practices to be evaluated in this perspective. In Turkey, the Gendarmerie and Coast Guard Academy, which was established in 2016, presents a different perspective as a higher education institution at all levels for law enforcement training. In this context, gendarmerie and police training is given to the internal security units of friendly and allied African countries.


  1. The fact that Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Boko-Haram, Al-Shabaab organizations operating in the African region maintain their dynamism and their financial resources are international poses a threat to the Gulf of Aden, one of the most important transit points in the world. It was foreseen that eliminating this threat with the internal security units, Gendarmerie and Coast Guard units would be a more effective solution. The need to establish a Gendarmerie in African countries, especially in regions that are actively affected by terrorism, was emphasized. The establishment and training of the Somali Gendarme, which will work in partnership with Turkey, will be significantly effective.


  1. In Turkey's developing defence industry breakthroughs, UAV/UAV-AD autonomous systems have become stronger within the framework of the "Strategic Partnership". Unmanned systems; information-based technologies (software technologies, computer software, information systems, etc.), material-based technologies (hardware technologies, hardware, equipment, systems and robots, etc.) electronic warfare systems should also be stronger and with a larger scale size, and African It should be one of the sources of inspiration for cooperation for their countries.


  1. Especially after the 2nd Karabakh war, UAV/UAV-AD systems that changed the war tactical doctrines from the beginning; in the tactical field, the effect of the conflict on the method/style of operation (internal security operations and its direct contributions to the battlefield), at the strategic level, its effect on participation in the war and the execution of the war (paradigm change in security - fully autonomous systems, artificial intelligence, armed conflict law) in the new security conflict perspective will be the most decisive and decisive factor in the success of the armies.


  1. The African region is a region open to investment and deep exploration. With Turkey increasing its investments in every field/sector, the trade volume is increasing day by day. But investments must be deeper based on interdependence. With the support of the state, DEİK, TÜSİAD, MUSIAD, TOBB, Turkish companies, Universities and Think Tanks, it has been adopted that a more active and focused structuring in the Region is too late.


  1. The area where Turkey and the EU have the most intense relations with the African region is the North African region. Here, educational tourism stands out as one of the most appropriate and actionable areas for cooperation between the EU and Turkey. There is a need to improve tourism infrastructure in North Africa, especially in Algeria.


  1. The current EU framework should be improved to include North Africa. Turkey has the potential to bring important experiences and is the 10th country with the highest number of international students in higher education and the programs it is involved in are part of the Bologna process such as Erasmus and Marie Curie. These higher education projects are used to support a mobility program in education rather than an existing fund for third countries. The factors affecting students' choices in these projects are cultural differences, dietary habits, health and hygiene conditions, and vaccinations.


  1. Another area where cooperation can be made between the EU and Turkey in the North African region is the contracting field, which focuses on public infrastructure. It is important that the construction field represents 9% of Turkey's GDP, employs 2 million people in this field and develops it by continuous work. The fact that 17% of Turkish construction projects abroad are in Africa, and 67% of this is in the North African region, increases the opportunity for cooperation. Since the African construction area is a priority for China, although not for the EU, a cooperation based on a "win-win" relationship can be modelled between Turkey and China. Private companies in Turkey and the EU have more opportunities to cooperate than states. However, the main problem regarding the construction/contracting cooperation in the Region is that North Africa insists on its local participation in the Region.


  1. As far as renewables are concerned, there is potential in Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, and in the last ten years, North Africa has managed to increase its renewable energy production by 40%, which is still only a small part of its potential. The Green Deal is a cross-border priority, where Morocco and Egypt have made promising strides (especially in solar energy) in recent years. Turkey's recent ratification of the Paris Agreement has the potential to be a "game-changer" and the first step of a joint project.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  04 November 2021, Istanbul


TASAM Africa Institute will fill a great gap in its field and light the way for Africa's future with its researches on social, economic, political and cultural issues. (Chairman of TASAM Süleyman ŞENSOY)