Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Tuesday inaugurated the Maarif Türkiye Research Center at the University of Pretoria in South Africa’s executive capital.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Cavusoglu said the center “will become a hub of excellence in research on Türkiye” and “promote academic and policy interaction between Africa and Türkiye.”
He reaffirmed Türkiye’s commitment to enhance collaboration with South Africa in the field of education.
Türkiye views education as “the most important area” for cooperation and one where it continues to devote its efforts, the minister said.
“Currently, nearly 61,000 students from the (African) continent are studying in Türkiye, many of them through Türkiye’s scholarships,” he said.
“Among those are 223 South African students engaged in academic pursuits at different Turkish universities.”
Turning to international issues, Cavusoglu pointed out that conflicts do not have “clear borders anymore,” citing as an example the war in Ukraine and its “worldwide implications on energy markets, food security, and inflation.”
“Global challenges such as pandemics and climate change are everybody’s problem now. The solution to these problems lies in a multilateral approach,” he said.
“We cannot overcome the threat of terrorism, the challenge of irregular migration and organized crime without global solidarity and cooperation,” he emphasized.
Cavusoglu said globalization is now giving way to “the rise of protectionism,” blaming the situation on the “current global system.”
He reiterated that Türkiye believes that a “fairer world is possible” and seeks “shared prosperity and an inclusive global system.”
On ties with Africa, Cavusoglu said Türkiye has become an “African hub with a growing African diaspora of students and businesspeople” over the past 20 years.
“Today, we have 44 embassies across Africa, and we gladly host 38 African embassies in Ankara,” he added.