Erdogan to visit East Africa as relations boom

With Africa booming in the global arena, Turkey has moved to strengthen its relations with the continent.

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pictured chatting with Ivory Coast President Allasana Ouattara in Abidjan, the capital city of Ivory Coast.

Turkey's Presidential Press Office on Monday said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will tour East Africa at the end of May.

Erdogan will kick off his tour on May 31 with a visit to Uganda followed by Kenya, for two days each.

With Africa booming in the global arena, Turkey has moved to strengthen its relations with the continent.

The relationship between Turkey and the continent goes as far back as 2005, when Ankara declared that year as ''The year of Africa'' with the aim of deepening relations.

2016 has been a great year for Turkish-African relations so far.

Last February, Erdogan spontaneously visited Senegal while returning from his tour of Latin America.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pictured chatting to Ghanian President John Mahama in Accra, Ghana.

In April, Erdogan then visited four West African countries including the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Guinea.

Half the cabinet, along with 150 businessmen from Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Board, joined Erdogan on this visit.

In each country, the group signed many construction, education and business agreements.

During this trip, Erdogan vowed to boost Turkish-African relations.

He said, Turkey's objective in Africa is "building bridges on the basis of mutual respect and appreciation."

Turkish officials have called the relationship a "win-win policy."

Facts: Turkish-African Relations

-Bilateral trade between Turkey and African countries tripled to $17.5 billion in 2015. 

-In October 2015, the Financial Times published a report saying that Turkish investment in Africa created over 16,000 jobs on the continent in 2014, which is recorded as the largest recruitment on the continent.

-With the rise of Turkish companies on the continent, the Karadeniz Energy Group now supplies electricity through power-generating ships to Ghana, Zambia and Mozambique.

-In 2003, there were 12 Turkish embassies operating in Africa. There are now 39 embassies throughout the continent. This number rose after Turkey strengthened its diplomatic presence in Africa. 

-To connect Africa to the world and the world to Africa, Turkish Airlines now flies to 48 destinations in 31 African countries.