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Turkish energy firms remain keen to invest in projects in African countries according to Turkish state media.

Several firms from Turkey had already invested in the energy sector in South Africa, Sudan, Ghana, Zambia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Nigeria. They now wish to expand further in other countries, especially in electricity generation and renewable energy fields given that the continent provides ample opportunities to investors in these areas.

According to a World Bank report from June 6, 2017, Africa is far behind the rest of the world when it comes to electricity; just 35 percent of the population is estimated to have access to power.

In November 2015, the Turkish firm was awarded the contract to supply electricity to land-locked Zambia via cross-border interconnection lines through Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The company will initially supply 100 megawatts of power.

However, there are some challenges for Turkish firms, including varying state policies throughout Africa, energy companies complain.

Turkey’s opening to Africa between 2005 and 2011 witnessed efforts towards breaking the ice in their reciprocal knowledge of one another. However, to be able to promote a mutual understanding with African countries, Turkey had to change its own perception — and of course of the Turkish public — about Africa and in particular Sub-Saharan Africa.

This awareness-raising project about Africa has resulted in a consideration that the continent is not a weak and distant place but rather a place full of potential connections and opportunities. Thus, Turkey established its presence through a number of multilateral projects, such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development — a program of the African Union adopted in 2001 — with the aim of alleviating poverty and promoting economic growth and sustainable development, as well as joining several security operations, such as NATO’s counter-piracy actions in the Gulf of Aden, off the Horn of Africa.

According to USAID, two out of three people in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to electricity. In 2013, Power Africa was launched by the USAID bringing together technical and legal experts, the private sector, and governments from around the world to work in partnership to increase the number of people with access to power.

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