What Does Africa Stand To Gain From New Trade Relations With Turkey?
Turkey has again reiterated its desire to build a lasting trade relationship with African countries with a series of mutually benefitting arrangements, according to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.
While speaking at a four-day tour of Central and West Africa, Erdogan shared that the Turkish government was in the process of exchanging ideas that would booster relationships with African nations and double the value of investments in the continent.
The Turkey-African relationship, thanks to the country’s policy of “Strategic Africa,” would champion a new phase that would not only boost economic progress in the continent but offer a great future for both sides based on mutual gains.
In 2021 alone, Turkish companies had undertaken more than 1,150 projects across the continent with a total value exceeding nearly $70 billion. Additional data provided by Anadolu Agency shared that the value of Turkey’s investments across Africa has surpassed $6 billion.
In the same year, Turkey’s foreign trade volume with Sub-Saharan Africa jumped 24.8% year-on-year to hit a record high of $10.7 billion, while exports to countries in the region soared 31% to $7.9 billion in the same period, while its imports were up 10% to $2.8 billion.
The Focus Of Erdogan’s Visit
Erdogan’s four-day mini-tour of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, and Guinea-Bissau, will focus on all aspects of bilateral relations and opportunities for improving cooperation between Turkey and the aforementioned countries.
In Senegal alone, Turkey’s bilateral trade in 2021 was valued at $540 million; a figure the Turkish government plans to increase to $1billion.
Other Turkish investments in Senegal include the Dakar Olympic Stadium, as well as 186 projects with a total value of $12 million by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA).
Before he visited Senegal, Erdagon visited Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Sub-Saharan African nation needs crucial investment in development, infrastructure and urbanization.
In the Congolese capital, where the Belgian and French influence remains strong, Erdoğan and DRC’s president, Felix Tshisekedi, personally oversaw the signing of military framework and defence cooperation agreements as well as a memorandum of understanding vis-à-vis highways, railways, a financial centre, infrastructure and river transportation.
Meanwhile, the European Union has sought to counter both Turkish and Chinese influence, positioning itself as “Africa’s partner of choice” during a summit with the African Union earlier this month.
“The European Union is the first trading partner and the first investor in Africa,” Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said after the two-day summit, which drew to a close on February 18. “Indeed, we need a stronger partnership between us.”