World, Africa

African states seeking to tap into Turkish investments at forum

Two-day Turkey-Africa Economic and Business Forum begins in Istanbul

21.10.2021
African states seeking to tap into Turkish investments at forum

LUSAKA, Zambia/NAIROBI, Kenya/KIGALI, Rwanda/ DOUALA, Cameroon

African nations are seeking trade and investment opportunities at the Turkey-Africa Economic and Business Forum currently underway in Istanbul.

Representing Somalia is Minister of Commerce and Industry Khalif Abdi Omar, who acknowledged Turkey’s current role in his country that has deepened trade, investment, technology and logistics as is the theme of the forum.

“Trade between Somalia and Turkey has improved with $206 million in trade in 2019 from the $144 million in 2017,” said Abdi. “Somalia remains interested in trade and economic collaboration with Turkey and the rest of the world and Somalia is also committed to strengthening trade relations.”

He said that the forum is increasing the socio-economic dynamism of Africa-Turkey cooperation and it demonstrates the emerging role of Africa as a dynamic player in the global business landscape.

South Sudan Vice President James Wani Igga was also present at the vital meetings that is intended to deepen relations between Turkey and South Sudan.

With a focus on post-pandemic recovery, East African nations -- Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Tanzania -- were also keen to tap into key opportunities for trade and investment from Turkey.

Kenyan Industrialization Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia led a delegation to Istanbul with a focus on boosting trade ties.

Kaberia met an official with the Association of Anatolian Businessmen (ASCON) in Istanbul and discussed investment cooperation in textiles, agro-processing, mining and affordable housing.

Director-General of the Customs and Trade for the East African Community intergovernmental organization, Kenneth Apollo Bagamuhunda, said, “The forum will also pave the way for the strengthening of the economies of Turkey and African countries in the post-pandemic era.”

Rwakakamba Morrison, chairman of Uganda’s Investment Authority, hailed the forum, saying it will connect people from his country and Africa to Turkish investors.

Zambian Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Chipoka Mulenga speaking at the Istanbul airport, said the forum is timely and in line with his government's development agenda.

"Our agenda is aimed at ensuring that citizens accrue maximum benefits from Zambia’s international engagements through the promotion of trade and investment," Mulenga said in a statement from the Zambian Embassy in Turkey.

For Togo, which is in the process of strengthening its partnership with Turkey, the summit, according to the Togolese presidency, will be an opportunity to discuss priority areas of cooperation, particularly economic and investment with Turkish entities.

It said the forum is also an opportunity for Togo to present to Turkish businessmen the merits and opportunities offered by the African Free Trade Area (Zlecaf).

"Notably, its poles of attraction, and probe the possible future trade partnerships with Turkey in the areas of investment, technology or logistics, " it added.

Democratic Republic of Congo Minister of Foreign Trade Jean Lucien Bussa Tongba said the meetings aim to deepen strategic cooperation and existing partnerships.

In particular, "trade, investment, logistics, technology, agro-industry, women's leadership, health, energy and the search for financing," he said.

He announced the signing of "a good bilateral win-win trade agreement" between his country and Angola.

The African Union Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Industry and Mining Albert Muchanga, said it “provides the continent with “yet again a golden opportunity to underscore the increasing socio-economic dynamism of Africa-Turkey Cooperation hinged on a ‘win-win’ principle.” “It demonstrates the emerging role of Africa as a dynamic player in the global business landscape.”

The forum, which was first held in 2016 and again in 2018, is organized in cooperation between Turkey’s Trade Ministry and the African Union.

* James Kunda in Zambia, Andrew Wasike in Kenya, James Tasamba in Rwanda and Aurore Bonny in Cameroon contributed to this report.

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