President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with several African leaders on Dec. 17 on the sidelines of the 3rd Turkey–Africa Partnership Summit, which is being held under the theme “Enhanced Partnership for Common Development and Prosperity.”
Erdoğan was scheduled to separately meet with Nigerian President Mohammed Buhari, Somali President Mohammed Farmajo, Libyan Presidential Council Chairman Mohammed al Menfi, Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadera, Mauritanian President Mohammed Ould Sheikh Ghazouani, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Djibouti President Ismail Omer Guelleh on the sidelines of the summit on Dec. 17.
Erdoğan is set to make a speech at the summit on Dec. 18.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu stated that 16 heads of state and government and 102 African ministers attended the summit. “Our aim is to win together with Africa, to walk towards the future together,” he said, speaking at the opening speech.
Turkey’s approach to relations with Africa is strategic, long-term, he added.
“On the occasion of this Summit, we will adopt an action plan on what we will do in the next five years. In addition to the Joint Declaration we aim an action plan under five main topics: Development, trade, industry and education,” the minister said.
He noted that these topics would include concrete steps in many different areas such as informatics, women, youth, infrastructure, agriculture and health.
Çavuşoğlu said that while these steps are being taken, efforts will be made to improve relations between organizations such as the Organization of Turkic States and the African continent.
“As the Organization of Turkic States, our vaccine donation to Togo and Burkina Faso this month is a tangible result of our efforts. We will deliver 2.5 million doses of additional vaccine in the coming days,” he stated.
The two-day gathering came on the heels of a top-level business forum in October that focused on investment and trade. The next phase of this fast-blossoming relationship is security, experts say, with a host of African leaders looking to buy up military hardware at cheaper prices and with fewer strings attached.
The number of Turkish embassies in Africa has grown from 12 to 43 since 2002 while the national flag carrier, Turkish Airlines, flies to over 60 African destinations. The share of Africa in Turkey’s trade with the world is 6.5 percent.
Hurriyet Daily News