Mustafa Madanoğlu, who has been impressed by African people’s intimacy and their societal and conventional values, establishes his sympathy of Africa on his discovery of the fact that Turks and Africans share many things in common. Upon his decision of converting these common values into a mutually serviceable investment, he starts his R&D and field works that will take three years. This is how ACCA was founded.
Mustafa Madanoğlu aims to make use of Africa’s existing potential and turn Africa into a continent that holds world’s prominent financial powers via ACCA Association that he established. Madanoğlu gave Africa Time information about their will to strengthen financial, political and societal affairs among Turkey and the African continent. They believe that life style and culture in Africa is familiar with the ones in Turkey; and thus, with Africa, they aspire to get their projects realized.
Mister Mustafa, how did you meet with Africa, what motive lays behind your sympathy for Africa?
Sometimes life is full of coincidences and these coincidences may be such as to considerably affect human life. My first arrival at Africa occurred due to some huge coincidences. It was during my first arrival at Africa when I found myself travelling in time going back to my childhood. Africa’s idiosyncratic virginal societal values, its culture, people’s intimate and warm attitudes deeply affected me. I felt that I belonged in this place, because we have many things in common with them. Our concerns, sufferings and joys were so familiar that I could hardly feel like an outsider. This give rise to establish a mutual, warm connection between us. Then it realized that such societies having a good knowledge of each other should be supportive to each other. Eventually I thought we might be in line with them as Turkey. Because we know that a society’ assents are valuable and important. For this reason, we have aspired after protecting Africa’s idiosyncratic values. Because we have loved Africa, we have loved Africans. We have been of the opinion that we need them and they need us. We have seen how African people got conscious and how they began to protect their own societies. This thrilled us. This was a trigger. We witnessed the sparkle in the eyes of society. We saw that people are trying to do something. In one sense Africa is poor; however it is satiated and has the potentiality to turn itself into a world power. Of course it is not perfect; but we will be glad to have helped them achieve growth when it becomes complete through our support. Moreover this growth will bring forth establishment of new of investment for us. Thanks to our association, we will be able to provide rightful assessment of these new fields of investment.
Mister Mustafa, before we start, will you please talk just a little bit about African Countries Cooperative Association?
African Countries Cooperative Association is an association which has a wide vision and huge goals despite the fact that it is recently founded. African Countries Cooperative Association, short name of which is ACCA, is a cooperative union to the core which holds 20 separate commissions within its body but is operationally inseparable.
It took three years for us to establish the organizational structure and define a road map. It took a fairly long time for us to found ACCA. Purpose of our association is not only the establishment of connections that focus on investments or cultural issues but also the provision of self-interests of mutually gained positive profits. Thus both parties shall find the opportunity to get in return for their investments in a satisfied and productive way. For this purpose, we have conducted R&D studies with various squads from various fields by regularly going to Africa for the last 3 years. We have gathered information about the situations in those countries by making official visits. We have conducted studies on finding which states and cities need which product groups in what sectors and we have tried to set grounds for the necessary investment steps to be taken. Upon intensive field works, we now try to continue these works together with the members of our association.
First of all, I believe that we have to be in perfect cooperation with Africa that has begun to discover its potentiality and has an increasingly wider world media coverage throughout this development period. If I have to paraphrase what I’ve said before; due to our projects that we plan to realize, both Africa and Turkey will derive common profits by considering mutual self-interests in material and non-material terms.
Will you please talk about the commissions founded under this association and about their objectives?
Commissions within our body are as follows: Commission of Industry and Commerce, Commission of Education, Commission of Communication, Commission of Energy, Commission of Arbitration, Commission of Social Aid and Solidarity, Commission of Health, Commission of Agriculture, Commission of Logistics, Commission of Information and Technology, Commission of Culture and Arts, Commission of Funfair and Entertainment Systems, Commission of Woodworks and Furnishing, Commission of Construction, Commission of Sports, Commission of Tourism, Commission of Import and Export, Commission of Textile, Commission of Automotive, Commission of Food, Commission of Livestock, and Commission of Mine and Natural Resources.
For example, roughly speaking on the commission of education; we have projects prepared aiming to provide educational sources for the fields that lack necessary qualifications in Africa and compensate these deficiencies in a fairly short time. Just to clarify the situation with another example; we have projects such as technologyoriented educations, in-house educations, educations for personality development, primary, secondary, high school and college educations in real sense.
When we made our visits to Africa, we met and spent time together with a number of bureaucrats. During these visits, we realized that they should partly be revised. I believe that educations in this direction will give them vision before the international platform. These are, of course, just trifles; however our plan is to provide more extensive educations. We want to invite mayors from various states and towns and give them educations in relation with municipalism. In addition to this, we design professional trainings on municipalism that may contribute to their enterprises in terms of construction and infrastructure. We know that there are many halting points when it comes
to agriculture. We will raise awareness of the governments and manufacturers, compensate deficiencies through our
trainings and support activities that are in line with sectorial improvement. Such educational activities are diversified by heads of the commissions and put into practice by our association. Currently realization of these projects is our purpose. I mean, we are trying to realize this educational activity by planning a training program for every month.
It seems education is prioritized…
Absolutely! Fertility comes through education. In addition to my statements about our commissions, I want to talk about the organizing committee. Our commissions are bound to each other and each commission structures the other. Our system is like different gears of the main mechanism.
Are you doing anything in order to determine the way investments on Africa should be made?
Let’s explain this through a rightful logic. Africa holds a considerable power. It has plenty of underground and aboveground treasures. But there are some problems with the issue of using these treasures and turning them into profits. We want to teach them how to fish. There is a balance I suppose; if one party is satisfied, it is its duty to satisfy the other. Meaning, satisfaction of both parties should be established. These people are more familiar with us in culture and life style. Moreover, since they are familiar with us and they are warm to us, emotions are on the front burner. For example; when you visit a village, although you find colors different, you still tend to feel yourself at an Anatolian village. They are away from being imperfect thanks to their liveliness, hospitality and their intimacy deeply felt through their attitudes. When you consider all these values together, a mosaic of values is constituted. As a result, you feel you have to be there somehow; you like there and establish an emotional link. I think this link is just like the one we once established with the Central Asia. It is more than this link; future is in question. If you sacrifice yourself for it, society will remember this sacrifice forever.
Also, a labor power, a brain power and a technology power are needed. Once Italians led the building and road construction sector; but now, it is Turks who has taken this position. Our people have improved themselves in a great many fields. We have the opportunity to use these experiences there. What does that mean? This means creating profits and values on behalf of Turkey and obtaining great mutual profits in a significant issue. Necessity of intimacy should absolutely be highlighted during the cooperative activity. Achieving advantage should be prioritized. We found the opportunity to closely recognize Africa with the help of R&D studies we previously conducted on site. While doing, we realized that Africa is a really expensive continent… Now Africa has to be taught how to fish and constructive enforcements have to be applied in order to enable it use its power.
I guess at this point you decided to found ACCA?
Absolutely! I decided to establish this association in order to make it possible for the businessmen in Africa and investors to gather under a single roof and recognize the country. I aimed to rake our bureaucrats and politicians and theirs together. I wanted to provide basis for cooperation in all terms. My concern should not be a bare personal commercial concern; it should mean a helping hand, an intimate and warm one. Hands had to be grabbed in such a way that the fever felt in the hands should be the fever felt in the heart. Such an organization was needed and I felt that I belonged to this place in a way. It had to continue and I had to train and better myself in this field. I might
be an African expert, a person who knows Africa the best or someone who can be described as white African.
What would you like to say to those who want to be a member? Are there any conditions for membership?
First of all, a prospective member should have specified his/her goals and has an ambition to make money. People, who want to generate profits for Africa, may work with us in constructive studies. We require nothing but this from
our members. Any individual, association or company may be a member of our association. An association open for everyone… Just to clarify our member profile in our association; we have 150 association members up to now. Despite the fact that no special effort was paid, this formation intrinsically took place. Highlevel academicians, national and international companies, bureaucrats and presidents have supported us. Their current excitement leads to the energy of association.
In what way investments of your members will reach Africa? Will it have any criteria?
I suppose, this is the most important thing for the association. A very careful and steady evaluation has to be done. When mission of our association is taken into consideration, we behave selective when we make investments. These investments will be Turkey’s reference and we mind them. We choose the best companies that are going to represent us, and then when we are sure about the fact that it will be useful for Africa, we make exquisite choices within the body of the association in terms of arrival of these investments right to the target points. We have to employ companies that will provide best work and service. We have to give that chance to them. In this respect, both companies here and bureaucrats in Africa and people who govern the country have to understand our sensitivity towards this issue. I mean, the association has to be a means of cooperation and a factor of trust in real terms. Such a mission has to be addable and we have to implement such a mission.
Is it commissions’ responsibility to be informed of one-to-one investments?
Yes it is and it has to be, because the investor can’t make a mistake. In associative meetings, commission members, presidents and members talk about the activities they have done. They will inform each other. I guess this practice was invented to be able to follow the functionality of the association and developments…
Of course, every part of this organization has to be informed of each other. Our mission is different and important. In fact, every commission will be responsible for something in every project. Because this is how it was planned. Activities performed up to now have been in that direction. Everyone is satisfied and results are pretty positive.
Would you like to talk about your plans on where to visit in Africa?
Visits that have begun in 2013 will intensely continue during 2014. We will have made at least ten visits to Africa by the end of 2013. This is not just the visits I will make; the ones that commissions will make are included. I am not sure about the exact number of these visits. Apart from this, we will prepare more specific invitations and visits under fair theme.
Where do you think Africa will be in the future?
If we compare today to ten years before now, we may clearly see the difference. 10 years from now, Africa may be a significant power or may stand for being one of the biggest powers in the world. But in its 20th year, African continent will be one of the biggest powers of the world. Most of the African states would be on this list. Turkey has witnessed and survived a process in the last 20 years and it will be the same for Africa. In this respect, our interest will be huge in proportion with the contributions and compensation of deficiencies made by us, and this will be a source of pride.
* This article was taken from “Africa Time” magazine (November 2014 Edition) by demanding all necessary permissions for copyright.