Foreign Minister Davutoğlu “21st century will be the century of Africa and Turkey”
Foreign Minister Davutoğlu “21st century will be the century of Africa and Turkey”

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu met with Ambassadors of the African countries in Ankara at a working lunch on January 8, 2014. Turkish parliamentarians who are the Heads of Inter-parliamentary Friendship Groups with African countries which have embassies in Turkey also attended the working lunch.

Speaking at the beginning of the working lunch, Foreign Minister Davutoğlu emphasized that Turkey is confident with the future of African continent and said that with this understanding, Turkey has developed its policy of opening up to Africa with a strategic approach for the last ten years.

Pointing out that significant progress has been achieved on bilateral level and 23 new embassies were opened in the African continent since 2011, Foreign Minister Davutoğlu said that Turkey aims to be represented in all African countries. Foreign Minister Davutoğlu stressed that Turkey which improves its relations with all sub-regional groups and organizations in Africa is particularly in close cooperation with sub-regional organizations such as IGAD and ECOWAS. On the other hand, on continental level Turkey’s relations with the African Union which becomes stronger every year and represents Africa as a whole, are defined as strategic partnership and Second Turkey-Africa Summit will be held in the first half of 2014.

Furthermore, underlining that on global level, Turkey is in close cooperation with African countries and institutions on every issue concerning international community, Foreign Minister Davutoğlu said that Turkey that hosted the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Summit in 2011 contributes significantly to the solution of Africa’s problems within the context of sustainable development and Turkey also follows the issues concerning LDCs within G-20.

Emphasizing that on political dimension, foundations of bilateral relations for the forthcoming years were mostly laid with increasing reciprocal visits and conclusion of countless agreements, Foreign Minister Davutoğlu said that on economic dimension, annual trade volume with African countries increased from 9 billion dollars to 23 billion dollars in the last ten years and said that it is aimed to increase the trade volume up to 100 billion dollars at the earliest date possible. Foreign Minister Davutoğlu said that on humanitarian dimension Turkey which is called as an “emerging donor country” in the last years allocates the significant part of its 2 billion dollars of humanitarian assistance to African countries. On cultural dimension, Foreign Minister Davutoğlu noted that the number of scholarships given to African students increases every year and 1800 students only from Somalia continue their education in Turkey with scholarships.

“Turkey-Africa relations will continue to develop. This is a long term strategic relationship for Turkey. The rise of Africa will support the rise of Turkey and vice versa. We will strengthen our historical special ties in every field and the 21st century will be the century of Africa and Turkey” said Foreign Minister Davutoğlu.