World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other political and business leaders have embarked on a historic visit to Uganda, Kenya and Somalia.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, ''We will seek to promote closer cooperation with our regional allies, develop solutions to shared challenges and explore mutually beneficial opportunities.''
He continued by saying that, ''Many people in the world associate the African continent with extreme poverty, violent conflict and a general state of hopelessness. The people of Turkey have a different view. We believe that Africa deserves better.''
Africa-Turkey bilateral relations
Africa is a continent that has a young and vibrant population at a time when Europe and other parts of the world are rapidly ageing.
If the world cooperates with local and national governments in the region, we as Turkey can create avenues for young people to make a positive impact on their communities.
African women also have the great potential to become more active players in economic and social life.
In addition, Africa is a continent that has been blessed with vast natural resources. For example Uganda and Kenya, has not only large oil reserves but also plenty of fertile land and regular rainfall.
To be clear, the rest of Africa is no different, even though years of colonial rule and exploitation stripped local communities of what rightfully belongs to them.
Finally, the people of Africa have an entrepreneurial spirit that could potentially turn the continent around.
As Africa assumes a more prominent role in the international arena, this spirit of entrepreneurialism will help to build a safer future for the next generation.
Since 2002, the government of Turkey has been working hard to help African nations to discover their potential and take steps in the right direction.
In 2005 Turkey launched an African initiative to cooperate intimately with our friends and allies in the region. As a result we then held two separate Turkey-Africa partnership summits in Istanbul, Turkey and Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. The summits were a pivotal point in Turkey's relations with Africa.
Since 2011, Somalia has also been one of the top three recipients of Turkey's development aid.
Our efforts continued with the completion of the Turkish-Somalian Education and Research Hospital, East Africa's largest medical facility, last year.
As a sign of Turkey's continued commitment to the future of Somalia, I will inaugurate the new Turkish embassy in Mogadishu, which is Turkey's largest diplomatic mission, during my forthcoming visit.
Since assuming the Turkish presidency in August 2014, I had the pleasure of visiting nine African countries and also hosting a large number of African leaders on the occasion of bilateral visits and international summits.
As a sign of our faith, Turkish Airlines took a bold decision to enter the African market and quickly expanded its network to 48 destinations in 32 countries.
Since 2000, Turkey's trade with Sub-Saharan Africa grew eightfold to reach $6bn as the number of Turkish embassies across the continent reached 34 - a fivefold increase.
Turkey's cooperation with Africa isn't limited to diplomacy and trade either. In the international arena, we are committed to furthering the interests of African nations.
Source: Al JazeeraGüncelleme Tarihi: 03 Haziran 2016, 18:08