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SZIJJÁRTÓ: AFRICA OFFERS OPPORTUNITIES, BUT ALSO POSES CHALLENGE

 

Addressing the Hungarian-Turkish sponsored Go Africa business forum in Istanbul, Péter Szijjártó, the foreign affairs and trade minister, said Africa had two faces, offering on the one hand unlimited opportunities while, on the other, posing the biggest challenge to Europe of the past decade in the form of mass migration. For Hungary, economic cooperation with Africa creates an opportunity to profit, the minister said. But it is also a huge responsibility to ensure that foreign investments serve as a way to keep Africans on their continent. With joint investments, Hungary and Turkey can achieve this goal, Szijjártó said.
In order to build a future at home, Africans will need competitive knowledge, he said, noting that Hungary helped this objective by offering 1,422 African students state university grants. Szijjártó noted that Hungary’s Eximbank has opened a 220 million US dollar credit line to finance joint Hungarian-Turkish investments in Africa. The World Bank, he noted, has forecast growth in the Sub-Saharan region at a steady half a percentage point above the global growth rate in the coming years. But with its population growing by 370 million, or 35%, in the next 10 years, making up 40% of the world’s population growth, serious destabilisation could result if a young exodus were to take place, he said, adding that talented young people should stay and build up modern economies in their homelands.