Türkiye and Africa have been demonstrating significant endeavors to pave the way for enhancing cooperation based on mutual benefits. In this context, inclusive growth and sustainable development goals, as central constituents of the Agenda 2063 of the African Union and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations, provide a suitable framework and guidance for the direction the Türkiye-Africa partnership needs to further explore.
Meanwhile, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will usher into a new era which presents its own opportunities for Türkiye and Africa. AfCFTA is expected to boost intra-African trade and investments significantly, thereby serving as a catalyst for economic growth and development as well as industrialization. The favorable continental trade and investment environment the AfCFTA is expected to create, has the potential to help ever strengthen Türkiye-Africa partnership.
Africa and Türkiye could well benefit from mutual exchange of expertise in efficiency and productivity in sectors such as infrastructure, energy, Technology, manufacturing, agriculture, transports and logistics.
While establishing direct trade links between Türkiye and Africa would benefit from improved partnerships, it is also vital for achieving the potential in these sectors. Logistics should come into play to maintain functioning and effective trade. In this regard, challenges stemming from transportation costs and inadequacy of infrastructure need particular attention. Türkiye and Africa therefore clearly need to further bolster their connectivity. Better connectivity between Türkiye and Africa through logistics will translate into increased investments and increased value-chain integration that will facilitate the spread of technology.
The importance of agriculture in food and nutrition security, poverty reduction and overall economic growth is also critical, while transforming Africa’s agriculture into a modern and dynamic sector faces major challenges. These include limited investments, technologies, knowledge and infrastructure to link input and output markets across the continent.
Rapid economic and population growth in Africa, particularly in the continent’s growing cities, are posing challenges for the energy sector. In the meantime, falling costs of key renewable technologies are opening up new avenues for innovation and growth.
Against this background, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose an immense global challenge and partnerships are ever more important for ensuring the resilience of the economies. The next level in Türkiye-Africa partnership may be achieved thorough exploration of trade, investment, technology and logistics nexus.
In accordance with the decisions taken in the 2nd Session of Türkiye-Africa Partnership Summit held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in November 2014, Türkiye and Africa is organizing the Türkiye-Africa Economic and Business Forums periodically since 2016.
The First Türkiye-Africa Economic and Business Forum was held in İstanbul, on 2-3 November 2016. Trade/Economy Ministers from 42 African countries, as well as over 2.000 businessmen and officials attended the Forum. The Second Forum was held on October 10-11, 2018, in Istanbul, with the “Investment on the Sustainable Future Together” main theme. The event was honored by President of the Republic of Türkiye and President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Republic of Rwanda President, and 26 Ministers from 43 African countries and over 2,500 business people attended.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic measures, Türkiye-Africa Economic and Business Forum, “Türkiye-Africa: Partners in Resilience” was held online on 8-9 October 2020. The Forum was honored by President of the Republic of Türkiye and attended by 15 Trade/Economy Ministers from 26 African countries and senior officials. On the margins of the online edition of the Forum, virtual B2B meetings and attendee interactions were held.
With the objective of building upon the outcome of its successful predecessors, the Third Forum will be held on 21-22 October 2021 in Istanbul, Türkiye.
The Forum will provide an open space for eminent representatives of Public and Private sector actors, from both Türkiye and Africa to discuss and—build on their respective experiences—jointly identify a set of recommendations for scaling up private sector engagement and innovative catalytic Public-Private Partnerships for broad-based, sustainable, inclusive growth and development.