Pursuing an influential strategy in Africa, Turkey has had a central role in helping African nations to overcome their problems. Announcing 2005 as ‘the year of Africa’, Turkey has contributed significantly to Africa particularly via aid campaigns and construction.
2011 was a remarkable keystone in Turkey’s Africa strategy when Somalia had to tackle growing scarcity mainly caused by a lack of summer rains. Turkey appeared to be the first nation to extend its helping hand to Somali people by launching numerous aid campaigns. In addition to the aid collected within Turkey, the Turkish government pioneered the international arena to pave the way for the sending of millions of dollars in aid to the country.
To this day, €4.5 million was sent to the Somali authorities from Turkey with the aim to bring this figure to $13.5 million. The aid Somalia has received from Turkey is not limited to money, rather various types of aid ranging from food to prefabricated houses have also been sent.
Erdogan: The first non-African leader to visit Somalia in 20 years
Apart from aid, the Turkish government has taken decisive steps to resolve Somalia’s infrastructure problem. In terms of health services, 57 wounded people along with 46 companions were carried to Turkey for treatment. Furthermore, more than 400 Somalian children have been brought to Turkey to continue their education. As one of the countries which stood by the humanitarian crisis that occurred in Somalia, Turkey prompted the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to launch a summit in regards to Somalia. On 17th August 2011, the members of the OIC met and decided to provide Somali financial support worth of $350 million. Following the summit, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan paid a historic visit to Somalia as the first non-African leader to visit the country after 1991. During the visit, the Turkish embassy was re-opened after being closed in the civil war which started in 1991.
Turkey a strategic partner to Africa
Turkey’s engagement with the continent is not limited to Somalia. As a result of the multi-dimensional foreign policy, Ankara geared up to forge stronger relations with African nations in 1998 and generated an ‘Action Plan for Africa’. In a parallel effort, the Undersecretary for Foreign Trade prepared the ‘Strategy for Improving Economic Relations with Africa’ in 2003. After this, the Turkish government declared 2005 as the year of Africa. Turkey was granted with observatory status in the Africa Union and was declared as a strategic partner to the Union in 2008.
Turkish projects’ worth reach $2 billion
As the political engagement strengthens, Turkish business in the continent expands as well. In 2011, the total value of generated by Turkish business contractors reached $2 billion. Prospects for Turkish businessmen in Africa grow brighter everyday. The railway project in Ethiopia is almost worth $1.7 billion. From 2007 to 2010, 500 Turkish doctors and 100 medical personnel voluntarily provided free services in Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Niger, Benin, Gana, Chad, Togo, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Mali, Uganda, Mauritania, Senegal, Tanzania and Cameroon. In several campaigns a total of 280 thousand Africans were given free medical screenings.
Kuzey News AgencyLast Mod: 09 Ekim 2013, 15:13