Relations between Turkey and Zambia

Political Relations

Zambia declared its independence on 24 October 1964. The Embassy of Turkey in Nairobi which was opened on 30 March 1968 was accredited to Zambia. Following its opening in 1994, the Embassy of Turkey in Pretoria became accredited to Zambia until 2011.

Turkey-Zambia relations gained momentum by the opening of the Turkish Embassy in Lusaka in 2011 and the Zambian Embassy in Ankara in 2013. The Turkish Embassy in Lusaka is accredited to Malawi and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) which is based in Lusaka.

Official visits were realized from Zambia to Turkey at the levels of the President (at a bilateral level in 2010 and at the margins of an international meeting in 2011), the Minister of Foreign Affairs (in 2014) and other Ministerial levels. The first meeting of Political Consultations was held in Lusaka in 2013.

The two countries are working closely at the technical level to improve their cooperation in the fields such as agriculture, tourism, health, infrastructure/housing. Turkey contributes to Zambia’s development agenda in terms of capacity and institutional building in pursuant to the country’s 7th National Development Plan (2017-2021).

Commercial and Economic Relations

The trade volume between Turkey and Zambia in 2017 was at the level of 21.8 Million USD. Turkey’s export to Zambia was worth 16.6 Million USD, whereas its import from Zambia was worth 5.2 Million USD. While Turkey was a net importer from 2002 to 2011, it has become a net exporter between 2012-2016.

The main commodities imported by the Turkish companies from Zambia are copper and copper products. As around 75% of our import is based on copper ore, global fluctuations in the price of copper plays a decisive role on our net bilateral trade. Based on the copper ore, our import commodities include cobalt mats and other intermediates, untreated cobalt powders, refined copper-cathodes and cathode fractions, refined copper wire and ferro-manganese. The ratio of tobacco and tobacco refuse in our total import has recently increased as well. While it was about 20% in the previous years, it reached 35% in 2017. For the year 2017, 20% of our total import is comprised of cotton.

The main export commodities of the Turkish companies to Zambia are machinery and appliances, tools and their parts, iron and steel goods, electrical machinery and appliances and their spare parts. On the other hand, textile products (carpet, clothes etc.), furniture, confectionery, food products containing chocolate and cocoa are other export items. It is observed that the import of prefabricated structures has started in the last 2-3 years, whereas there is a decrease on the export of hygienic towels/materials for the last 2 years.

Through Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), Turkey is providing development assistance to Zambia in various domains. For further detail, please visit

Turkey has granted 131 scholarships to Zambia within the Turkish Government Scholarship Programme (Turkey Scholarships) since 1992. In the academic year of 2017-18, 20 Zambian students are granted with Turkey Scholarships.