“Turkey's win-win policy in Africa: A policy of mutual empowerment based on equality, transparency and sustainability”
Turkey's Trade and Economic Enhancement Strategy towards Africa lies behind the gradual boom of the Turkey's bilateral relations with the African countries since 2003. In response to the changing conditions and needs of the Continent, the Strategy has been updated during the Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit in Malabo-Equatorial Guinea in 2014 and its vision and objectives have been modified aiming to increase the Turkish FDI to Africa, job opportunities for domestic people and creating an environment conducive to economic development of African countries.
Turkey's 15-year Africa Initiative Policy has increased economic cooperation, while also bringing political relations to the next level. The experience of Turkish businesspeople has been transferred to the region and it has contributed to the development of African countries.
Turkey’s bilateral trade volume with Africa increased three-fold from 2003 to reach $18.9 billion in 2017 as exports totaled $11.6 billion and imports $7.1 billion.
Turkey has been forging with Africa countries. While Turkey’s engagement with North Africa dates back to the time of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey has started to see more opportunities, particularly with trade and business, with countries south of the Sahara. The Turkish Government’s priority to engage with Africa has helped facilitate the growth of business and trade relations. Turkish SMEs have particularly started to invest as African markets have become more accessible.
The Turkish Government has also used development aid to help facilitate commercial interactions. And the Turkish image and presence has been enhanced by the engagement of private companies, NGOs, and Turkish schools. Turkish companies are undertaking major projects, producing everything from cement and clothes to electronics in African countries.
In addition, Turkey has helped to create a significant number of jobs in Africa, unlike some other partnering countries who bring their own workers to Africa. In 2015, for instance, Turkish projects provided employment for 30,000 people in Ethiopia, which is the largest number of people employed by a foreign country.
Human trafficking between Turkey and Africa has also increased, while the total number of foreigners coming to Turkey from 2006 to 2014 has doubled, while the number of Africans from Africa to Turkey has increased fourfold. The share of Africans in foreigners coming to Turkey in 2014 was close to %2.
In order to build on existing relations, there is a need for more Turkish-African cooperation in the energy, security and health sectors.
Africa's huge potential for sustainable development will be realized only when new forms of modern slavery, exploitation and dependence come to an end and instead Africans are allowed to develop their own potential in ways that are in tune with the spirit and traditions of the African continent in the 21st century. Turkey's win-win approach to Africa should be seen as a humble yet important contribution to this precious goal. (Turkish Presidential Spokesperson: Amb. Ibrahim Kalin, 28 January 2017)
It is as part of this approach that Turkey asks African countries to disallow the subversive activities of Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) individuals and institutions in their countries. Using Turkey's prestige and capacities, FETÖ has established itself in dozens of African nations over the last two decades. Now that their true identities have been exposed after the July 15 coup attempt, many African countries are taking positive steps against this menace.
Our African brothers and sisters should know by now that this cult group is a matter of national security not only for Turkey but also for them as it will do everything to amass political power and use it against the very nations opening their doors and hearts to them. (Turkish Presidential Spokesperson: Amb. Ibrahim Kalin, 28 January 2017)
As an emerging donor country, Turkey is keen to share its development experience with the countries in need of help. Turkey gives 0.54% of its GDP to official development assistance.