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TURKEY – African tour by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: a win-win partnership, but not only

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Recep Tayyip Erdoğan @Agence Ecofin

This Sunday, October 17, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan begins a tour in Africa that will take him to Togo, Nigeria and Angola. The visit will be consecrated by trade and security agreements, but it also takes place in a context of tensions involving other powers, including France.

This will be the 15th time that Erdoğan has marched on African soil as head of the Turkish executive. Short but regular journeys, which began in 2004 when he was still Prime Minister, and which saw him visit, among others, Ethiopia, Tunisia, South Africa, Libya, Somalia, Niger, Senegal and Ghana. 28 countries to be exact, and soon 30. These relational approaches are far from being unilateral, since we note, for example, that the last 5 presidential visits received by Turkey are African (Angola, Guinea, Sudan, Ethiopia, DRC).

Two weeks ago, Erdoğan also received Moussa Faki, President of the AU Commission. The discussions focused on issues of infrastructure development, economic and human, mediation, culture, trade, and also on the humanitarian aspect.

In fact, the bilateral trade volume between the two parties has increased almost fourfold in 18 years, from USD 5.3 billion in 2003 to more than USD 20 billion today, according to the Turkish Ministry of Commerce. Turkish investments have also expanded in Africa in recent years, from $100 million in 2003 to $6.5 billion in 2017 (infrastructure, schools, hospitals, etc.). At the same time, the number of Turkish embassies in Africa increased from 12 to 41.

The arrival tomorrow Sunday of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan precedes the 3rd Turkey-Africa Cooperation Summit which will be held from 21 to 22 October in Istanbul and which will bring together the 54 countries of the continent through officials or the private sector.

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The proliferation of African embassies in Anatolia and flights between the two destinations will make things much easier. Meanwhile, there is talk of a half billion dollar trade between Turkey and Angola (currently USD 116 million), joint counter-terrorism efforts and oil and energy agreements with Nigeria, and economic and defence agreements with Togo.

All this takes place in a tense context between France and Turkey, and particularly between the MM. Macron and Erdoğan, who in Africa, like Russia, are clearly competing with France.

Source : Agence Ecofin

       

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