Security Tight as Turkey President Erdogan Heads to Makerere University

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Uganda late Tuesday where he is expected to hold bilateral talks with his host, more about President Yoweri Museveni.

Welcomed at Entebbe International Airport by Foreign Affairs Minister, Sam Kutesa, Erdogan will as well receive an honorary degree from Makerere University.

Some of the roads leading to the institution have been sealed off by the Special Forces who are providing security to the visiting head of state.

A statement from the Turkish President’s office said he will also preside over inter-committee meetings.

He will then visit Nairobi where he will hold talks with President Kenyatta.


Holding a press conference at Adnan Menderes Airport before leaving for Uganda, President Erdo?an said: “We, in line with our development-oriented policy, work to tend to our African friends’ bleeding wounds and also endeavor to leave lasting marks that will serve them in the long term.”

Stressing the historic importance of his visit, the President said: “I will receive an honorary doctorate degree from Makerere University, meet with their professors and students. President Museveni and I will attend a business forum that will bring together our businessmen.”

President Erdo?an is heading a delegation which includes a number of Turkish businessmen and would aim to strengthen economic ties in the two countries.

The statement said the meetings would “also strengthen bilateral relations between Uganda and Kenya and Turkey and will allow for discussions on bilateral cooperation, as well as regional and international issues.”

It is the first time a Turkish President has visited these two countries.

It is also expected that President Erdo?an may take the opportunity to visit Mogadishu again. In February, President Erdo?an visited Western African nations including Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Guinea; and last year he visited Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia, spearheading a drive to expand the Turkish presence in Africa.

Turkey has more than tripled the number of embassies it has in Africa since 2009 and Turkish Airlines now flies to numerous destinations in Africa.

Turkey’s bilateral trade with all of Africa came to $23.4 billion in 2014; bilateral trade with sub-Saharan countries has increased tenfold since 2000.

Underscoring that Turkey will maintain its relations with African countries as a strategic partner of the continent, President Erdo?an said: “Uganda and Kenya greatly contribute to maintaining peace and stability in their region. They also house a significant number of refugees. As a country that has opened its doors to 3 million people, we understand the problems they have very well and appreciate their sacrifice.”

“As we saw once again during the World Humanitarian Summit we hosted last week, poor countries shoulder the real burden of the refugee problem in the world.”


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