Turkey has traditionally maintained good relations with the African continent. In the context of our policy of opening up to Africa initiated in 1998, we are determined to improve and develop our political, economic, commercial, and cultural interaction with the African countries.
The Turkish foreign policy towards Africa is not only based on economic and trade objectives but also incorporates a comprehensive approach which includes development of Africa through technical and project assistance in the fields such as fight against diseases, agricultural development, irrigation, energy and education and regular flow of humanitarian aid.
Turkey welcomed the decision of the 10th African Union Summit in January 2008 declaring Turkey as a strategic partner.
“Turkey-Africa Cooperation Summit” held with the participation of 49 African countries on 18-21 August 2008, in Istanbul, is considered as the beginning of a steady and sustainable cooperation process.
According to the follow-up mechanism established by the “The Istanbul Declaration on Turkey-Africa Partnership: Cooperation and Solidarity for a Common Future” and “Cooperation Framework for Turkey-Africa Partnership” adopted in the First Turkey-Africa Cooperation Summit in 2008, the meetings envisaged to be organized in the first five year cycle are a High-Level Officials Meeting at the end of 2010, a Ministerial Level Reviewing Conference in 2011, a second High-Level Officials Meeting in 2012 and the Second Turkey-Africa Cooperation Summit in 2013.
In addition to our observer status in the African Union (2005), Turkey has been accepted as a non-regional member of the African Development Bank (2008). Turkey is also a member of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Partners Forum (IGAD) (2008) and Turkish Embassy in Abuja is accredited to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) (2005). Furthermore, Turkish Embassy in Dar-es-Salaam is accredited to the East African Community (EAC) (2010).
Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TİKA) Program Coordinator Office in Africa was first opened in Addis Ababa in 2005 and later in Khartoum and Dakar in the years of 2006 and 2007 respectively. TIKA offices support development projects in their respective regions.
We attach particular importance to ensuring peace and stability in Africa and contribute to the United Nations missions deployed in the continent. Turkey is currently providing personnel and contributing financially to six of the existing eight UN missions in Africa.
In this context, Turkey co-chaired with Egypt an “International Donor’s Conference for the Reconstruction and Development of Darfur” in Cairo, on 21 March 2010. During the Conference, Turkey announced a pledge of around 65 to 70 million US Dollars of humanitarian assistance mainly in health, agriculture and education sectors.
Turkey hosted the Istanbul Somalia Conference organized within the UN framework on 21-23 May 2010. The Conference provided an important support for the Djibouti Peace Process and the TFG. The Istanbul Declaration adopted during the Conference constitutes a road map for the settlement of the Somali issue.
Turkey has recently decided to open 15 new Embassies (Ghana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Angola, Mali, Madagascar, Uganda, Niger, Chad, Tanzania, Mozambique, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Zambia) in African countries. In this context, Turkish Embassies in Dar-es-Salaam (May 2009), Abidjan (November 2009), Yaoundé (January 2010), Accra (February 2010), Bamako (February 2010), Kampala (March 2010), Luanda (April 2010) and Antananarivo (April 2010) have started to function.
Turkey currently has 20 Embassies in Africa of which 15 are in Sub-Saharan Africa.