Ankara [Turkey], December 8 (ANI): Turkey is engaged in an "unprecedented expansion" of its influence in Africa in the past two decades, from its trade volume to the involvement in the social and education sector of the continent, all have increased according to a media report.
Reframing itself as an Afro-Eurasian nation, Turkey is engaged with several African nations in multi-faceted ways--from trade, military cooperation, education, diplomacy, and infrastructure to civil society and political relations, said a report by the Policy Research Group (POREG).
Unlike China's relationship with Africa, which is largely commercial, Turkey has laid also emphasis on the social and educational sectors, the report added.
Turkey had one embassy in Lagos in 1962 and now it boasts of 42 embassies in the continent. Notably more are in pipeline.
The country has expanded its footprints from the north -Egypt, Algeria, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia to the West African nations like Chad, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Senegal, and then to Angola, South Africa, Congo and more, said POREG.
The intensifying relations between the Ankara-Africa are largely shaped during the incumbent Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's tenure.
During Erdogan's Primeminister ship from 2003 to 2013, he set in motion an African journey that has notched several new milestones in Turkey's relationship with Africa.
He has been stepping in to bridge the gaps left behind by the West with the African nation, mostly former colonial powers. As Ankara helped Somalia withstand one of the worst humanitarian disasters. Turkey's approach, more visible and transparent than other donors, was widely appreciated by Somalis.
Turkey offered help to the African nation in terms of training and equipment when militancy had gained ground.
Ankara in 2018 provided USD 5 million to the 'G5 Sahel Force', a regional coalition, which deployed troops to fight Islamist militants in the tri-junction area conjoining Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. Though Turkey is still a new player in Africa, it has sowed enough seeds in the continent to become an influential power in near future, according to POREG. (ANI)