With his upcoming Africa tour starting on Sunday, the Turkish president will take his place among the world leaders who visited the continent the most.
While Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Angola, Togo, and Nigeria, he also received five leaders from African countries and President of the African Union (AU) Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat this year.
Government and private sector representatives from 54 African countries are expected to attend the Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit, which will be held under the auspices of the Turkish Presidency on Oct. 21-22 in Istanbul.
This year, leaders of Angola, Ethiopia, Guinea, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo organized official visits to Turkey and held talks to improve relations.
- Latest official visit from Africa to Turkey by head of African Union Commission
Moussa Faki Mahamat visited Turkey on Sept. 30 and said they are pleased with partnership and cooperation with Turkey, adding: "We are making progress with each passing day. We are taking positive steps."
He said the increasing number of African embassies in Ankara is a concrete positive indicator of Turkey's relations with African countries, in a joint news conference with Erdogan.
“We are pleased with this partnership. This is a partnership at the equal level, at the friend level, between friends, without taboos, sincere and openly spoken, aiming to act together, aiming to overcome the challenges that people have faced together,” he said.
- Visits from African leaders to Turkey
African leaders, including President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Felix Tshisekedi, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Chairman of the Sovereignty Council of Sudan Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and Angolan President Joao Lourenco visited Turkey and discussed bilateral relations with Erdogan.
The fact that African leaders brought up issues such as enhancing bilateral cooperation, developing relations in the economic field, and security cooperation during their visits to Turkey is considered an indicator of positive views towards Turkey.
In addition to bilateral relations, African leaders are also taking steps to find solutions to regional issues by exchanging ideas with Turkey.
Erdogan held two separate meetings, one week apart, with the Sudanese and Ethiopian leaders, neighbors that have been in tension for a long time over a border dispute.
Along with in-person meetings, Erdogan also spoke by phone with the leaders of many African countries, including Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, Tunisian leader Kais Saied, Senegalese President Macky Sall, Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbe, and head of Libya's Presidential Council Mohammed al-Manfi.
* Writing by Busra Nur Cakmak in Ankara.