"Turkey is becoming a key factor in African development, with many cooperation links being developed, not only on the bilateral level, but also at the continental level and regional level," Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO of New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), and former Prime Minister of Niger, told Anadolu Agency.
Speaking at a presentation on Wednesday at the United Nations, Mayaki said Turkey was well known at the African continent for its educational initiatives, hinting expectations that additional Turkish participation in African development would expand.
Turkish contractors have been carrying out major project in African countries in construction sector, telecommunication.
Infrastructure as a priority
"[...] Infrastructure is one of the key priorities to be looked at. We know what Turkey has been present at the level of education for a long time, and they [Turks] are really known in many African countries," Mayaki said.
Turkey as a bright example
Turkey's profile is on the rise as "an economic and diplomatic rising star” in the Middle East, Caucasus and in Africa and the country is deepening its global leadership credentials by closing business deals and extending aid in several parts of the world.
Since 2009 the number of Turkey's diplomatic missions in Africa tripled and the number of Turkish embassies in Africa rose to more than 30.
At the Turkey-Africa Partnership ministerial conference in Istanbul back in 2009, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu said Turkish-African ties have "great strategic importance."
Still the poorest continent
According to the experts Africa is the only region which is unlikely to attain UN's Millennium Development Goals set for 2015, which includes the eradication of extreme poverty as the most important one.
"Africa still is lagging far behind in achieving MDGs," said Ahmed Fathi, a political and economic analyst based in New York, told AA.
"At the same time, because of the crisis in the Western world a lot of African workers are returning to the their countries. This should be an asset because it can help in the industrialization of the continent," Fathi said.
Week of Africa at the UN
Followed UN secretary general's report on continent's development, the "Africa Week," opened Monday at UN Headquarters and it will continue until Friday, October 25th.
The event was co-organized by the office of the UN chief's special adviser on Africa, Maged Abdelaziz.