Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to begin diplomatic tour of African states

Photo: Anadolu Agency

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will begin a four-day trip to Africa today to visit Angola, Nigeria and Togo.

July meeting with Angolan President Joao Manuel Goncalves in Ankara saw the two sides agree to 10 new bilateral cooperation agreements. In Angola, Erdogan’s first stop, he may sign additional agreements focused on increasing trade volume between the two countries. Erdogan’s visit to Nigeria will also focus on trade, but in Togo he will discuss increasing bilateral cooperation in the defense industry.

This Africa trip is an extension of Turkey’s Africa Partnership Policy, which aims to focus Turkey’s development efforts in Africa. Ankara wants to hone its macro-Africa policy to better focus on individual African countries and regions, thereby magnifying its efforts. Turkey has made great headway increasing its African outreach, expanding its network of embassies from 12 in 2000 to 43 today.

Turkey will use its Africa policy to diversify its international and trade relations beyond ties to NATO and Western countries. As the bridge between the Middle East, Africa and Europe, Turkey’s interests lie in diversifying risk and opportunities for cooperation with all potential partners. Africa serves as a relatively geopolitically neutral region to develop these diversified partnerships.

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