Turkey has launched “Muhammad Yunus International Centre for Microfinance and Social Business” at Okan University in Istanbul to provide a platform for addressing development challenges faced by Asia.
The centre, the first of its kind in the country, is expected to be a hub of research and practical applications as well as hands-on training for academics and researchers.
Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, President of Board of Trustees and Founder of Okan University Bekir Okan, Turkish Minister for European Union Affairs Egemen Baðýþ, representing the president of Turkey, and Minister for Family and Social Policies Affairs Fatma Sahin, representing the prime minister of Turkey, signed a charter to this effect on Thursday.
During the ceremony, Okan also announced that he would donate US$2 million to take care of the initial costs of the centre, said Yunus Centre in Dhaka said in a statement yesterday.
Founded in 1999, Okan University is one of the modern universities of Turkey.
During the ceremony, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan sent a message to Prof Yunus offering him all the hospitalities to hold the 2012 Global Social Business Summit in Turkey.
After the ceremony, the microcredit pioneer addressed students, faculties, NGO leaders, and dignitaries and explained the potential of social business.
The Yunus Centre at Okan University will provide an independent and open platform for addressing development challenges faced by poor people in Asia. The centre aims to contribute to poverty reduction and sustainable development by promoting, developing and implementing social business ideas and projects.
The centre will conduct applied research in social business and microfinance, and will engage in efforts to disseminate the research in the academic as well as practitioner communities, especially involving young students and people.
It will promote and disseminate Yunus’ philosophy with a special focus on social business. Each year, the founder of Grameen Bank will give a lecture on social business at the centre.
-With The Daily Star input