Turkey’s West African Quest

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Turkey’s West African Quest

A Turkish delegation led by President Erdogan will visit Cote D’ivore, Ghana and Nigeria from 28 February to 3rd of March 2016. Prominent figures from government and private sector representatives, to include a group of top business owners in Turkey, will take part in the delegation. There will be business forums in Abidjan, Akra and Abudja. Main sectors of interest will be agriculture, retail, energy, petro-chemicals, natural gas, construction, transportation and telecommunications.

2016 has the potential to be a year of major change for Africa. National elections are scheduled in Benin, Cabo Verde, Chad, the Comoros, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Gabon, the Gambia, Ghana, Niger, São Tomé and Príncipe, Somalia, Uganda and Zambia, as well as pivotal local elections in South Africa.

In West Africa, Food insecurity and the necessity for effective institutions for early intervention will be key issues as unpredictable weather patterns impact agricultural productivity in vulnerable regions. Enduring low commodity prices will challenge many countries’ recent impressive economic growth rates. As societies start to feel the effects of currency devaluations and constrained budgets, policy-makers will have tough choices ahead as multiple urgent demands and long-term planning pressures compete for attention and resources. Nigeria, per say, needs to raise about $5 billion abroad to cover part of its 2016 budget deficit. This is projected to hit 3 trillion Naira ($15 billion) at a time when the slump in global oil prices has slashed it export revenues.

Yet the continent’s long-term prospects remain strong. Progress in governance, institution-building and democratic consolidation in many countries is moving them towards improved resilience. Technological innovation, local private sector-led initiatives and wider participation present the potential for positive change.


Turkey’s planned quest to West Africa will be the last stop, for the time being, in a series of economic and trade expansion efforts. In search of new markets, President Erdogan visited Chile, Ecuador and Peru from 30 January to 05 February 2016. Latin American population exceeds 600 million people and its economic volume is more than $1.5 trillion.Turkey has high hopes for benefiting from this market. As Turkey is having serious political and security problems with its traditional trading partners, it aspires to expand into new markets, especially in the wake of slow down in China and the slump in oil prices to overcome the “middle-income trap”. This of course will have significant ripple effects on both political and economic risk indicators of Turkey. To enter new markets, Turkey will need new alliances and new allies, if not traditional allies re-discovered, and that is something quite tricky in the world we inhabit today.


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