By Bahattin Gonultas
Over the last 15 years the trade volume between Turkey and African countries rose six-fold to $17.5 billion thanks to the country's landmark “Opening to Africa" policy.
Under the policy, economic ties between Turkey and African states were diversified and strengthened through a win-win approach, and political relations were also upgraded.
During the same period, Turkey signed trade and economic cooperation deals with some 45 African countries and quadrupled the number of investment protection deals from six to 26.
Turkey's foreign direct investment in the continent skyrocketed from $100 million in 2003 to $6.5 billion in 2017.
Turkish entrepreneurs generated 78,000 jobs in Africa, and the value of projects undertaken by Turkish construction firms topped $55 billion.
The number of Turkish embassies in the continent more than tripled from just 12 in 2003 to 41 in 2017.
The stronger ties were also felt in air travel, as national flag carrier Turkish Airlines now flies to 52 destinations in 33 African countries.
Turkey's political relation with the continent also grew with the help of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s 30-plus visits to 28 African countries over the last decade.
Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) also founded bilateral business councils with 42 different African countries.
The foreign trade body also accompanied Erdogan on his trips to 15 African countries over the last two years, helping to strengthen business ties.