Africa celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the African Union
Africa celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the African Union

The African Union celebrates the 50th Anniversary of its foundation.

The 50th Anniversary celebrations took place in Addis Ababa on May 25, 2013 and the year-long activities will be held under the theme “Pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance”.

Upon the initiative of the Ambassadors of the African countries in Ankara, activities to mark the “Africa Day” were also organized in Turkey on May 22-24, 2013. On behalf of Turkish Government, Mr. Bekir Bozdağ, Deputy Prime Minister participated in the symposium hosted by Hacettepe University. Moreover, trees were planted at the “Africa Day” memorial forest in Keçiören with the joint initiative of Keçiören Municipality and the ambassadors of African countries.

Turkey in Africa

Turkey’s historical and cultural ties with the African Continent go back to the centuries.

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 regular flow of humanitarian aid.

The “Opening up to Africa Policy” has been replaced by Turkey’s “African Partnership Policy” in 2013. Relations have been transformed into a mutually reinforced political-economic partnership.

Turkey has in total 34 Embassies, 24 of which are in the Sub-Saharan Africa, in the African Continent as of today. There are plans to open up 5 additional Embassies till the end of this year. This process has not been one-sided. Currently 25 African countries have Embassies in Turkey and 9 African countries have declared their decisions to open Embassies in Ankara.

Turkey attaches particular importance to ensuring peace and stability in Africa and is currently providing personnel and contributing financially five of the existing six United Nations missions deployed in the continent.

In parallel to our developing political relations, economic relations and trade volume with the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have increased significantly in the last years. Our trade volume with Sub-Saharan Africa in 2000 was 742 million US Dollars. This figure reached to almost 6.5 billion US Dollars in 2012, setting a new record. The overall trade volume with the African continent has reached 23 billion US Dollars in 2012.

The Turkish International Cooperation Agency which is the key governmental agency carrying out humanitarian and development assistance has been active in 37 African countries with its projects in various fields, while Turkish Airlines flies to 30 destinations in 23 African countries.

Under the new scholarships program initiated for the 2012-2013 education year, Turkey has provided 561 scholarships for students from Sub-Saharan Africa and 142 scholarships for students from North African countries.

Turkey, as the strategic partner of the African Union will continue to support the African countries and to act as the voice of Africa in regional and international platforms.