- Turkey’s interest in Africa keeps swelling.
- Beyond mere interest, resources are getting committed to bolstering a thriving business partnership.
Businesspersons numbering about 1,500 who are representatives of 41 countries of Africa gathered in Istanbul to be part of the World Intersectoral Cooperation Forum, an opportunity for these representatives of the continent to exchange with their Turkish counterparts.
The Global Forum for Intersectoral Cooperation has said that increasing trade between Turkey and Africa to 4.5 billion dollars is the objective. The initiative also intends to increase the input of Turkish SMEs on the continent. This innovative approach is designed to be mutually benefitting.
Utku Bengisu, Founder of the Africa Trade Centres and the Chairperson of the Global Forum for Cross-Sectoral Cooperation, while speaking on the development, said that “now is the time to understand Africa and partner with Africa for its future. It is time to build strategic partnerships with Africa. Don’t help Africa anymore. Africa doesn’t need aid. Africa needs investment. Africa needs partnerships”.
The forum will also create export networks, ensuring that Turkey and African markets are mutually accessible. The forum intends to familiarize Turkish businesspersons with the terrains of African markets, and while doing so provide some more visibility for Turkish SMEs on the African continent. Products like the African ankara will keep finding their way to Turkish markets.
Turkey’s interest in African markets predates this year’s forum.Post-pandemic, the Turkey-Africa collaboration got highlighted when Berna Gözbaşı, coordination chairperson of the Turkey-Africa Business Councils and Foreign Economic Relations Board, said “we organized the Turkey-Africa Economy and Business Forum to evaluate the opportunities to do business in Africa during and after the pandemic, reach new markets and potential buyers, establish new commercial and investment partnerships and reach projects and financing tools,”.
More so, in his four-day diplomatic tour to Angola, Nigeria and Togo in 2021, Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said moves are being made to tighten political, humanitarian, economic and cultural ties between the African Countries and Turkey. “We’re becoming Africa’s leading trade partner,” Erdogan said, adding that “our relations with African countries are not based on colonialism and we want to succeed together with our brothers and sisters across the continent”.