The new Turkish Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Fikret Kerem ALP on Thursday, 14th March, 2019 made an advance visit to Makerere University ahead of the planned meeting with a delegation from the Turkish Council for Higher Education set for 19th March, 2019.
The Ambassador held meetings with the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe and staff in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences to discuss the planned visit and brainstorm on areas of collaboration. Members proposed several areas for collaboration including; staff and student exchanges, research, vocational studies, cultural exchanges as well as performing arts and film. Commenting on the growing trade relations between the two countries, the Ambassador noted that the Turkish Government was keen on supporting Makerere to set up a Turkish Language Studies Institute to help bridge the language barrier.
A delegation from the Turkish Council for Higher Education led by its President, Prof. Dr. M.A. Yekta Sarac will visit Uganda on 19th-20th March, 2019 to hold bilateral talks with the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet K. Museveni. The team also intends to hold meetings with officers at the Uganda National Council for Higher Education and Makerere University to discuss areas of mutual cooperation with the aim of further strengthening the education sectors in both countries.
Uganda and Turkey continue to enjoy warm and cordial bilateral relations. The relations between the two countries continue to grow steadily.
In the Education sector, Turkey offers scholarships to Ugandan students. There are currently over 150 Ugandan students sponsored by the Turkish Government to pursue higher education in various institutions in Turkey.
Trade between Uganda and Turkey is growing steadily, with the number of business people going Turkey increasing each year. The number of Turkish business people coming to Uganda has also increased in the last couple of years. Turkey’s bilateral trade volume with Uganda reached 40 million USD in 2018, which was 32.2 million dollars in 2017.
In 2016 Uganda and Turkey signed cooperation agreements and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in six areas of visas for diplomatic passport holders; cooperation in tourism; defence industry cooperation; military cooperation; cooperation in field of ivory carbon mining and minerals and in higher education.
The Government of Turkey also supports different programmes at Makerere University. In 2015 Turkey donated lCT equipment worth over UGX100 million to the Peace and Conflict Studies Centre through the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TlKA). Negotiations are ongoing for further support towards the construction of the state of art home for a Peace Centre which will include lecture theatres, office space for staff, conference facilities, visiting lecturers' research facilities, e-Learning Centre and baby care facilities.
The Makerere University Peace and Conflict Studies Centre is an academic unit of Makerere University established to contribute to the culture of peace through teaching, training, research, publication and community outreach in the Great Lakes Region. The programme brings together a pool of experts: primarily lecturers and other academic staff from all conflict-related disciplines such as Law, Social and Political Sciences, Economics, Psychology and Religion, The aim of this is to contribute to efficiency and effectiveness in the analysis and response to conflict transformation processes undertaken by government, the UN, NGOs, cultural institutions, religious organizations, and the private sector.