More than 13 African heads of state arrive in Istanbul on Friday to attend 3rd summit Turkey – Africa.
The main topic of the meeting is the strengthening of bilateral cooperation in the fields of economy, security and culture.
The meeting is held under the auspices of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is currently struggling to present the progress his country has made, penetrating dynamically into major African markets.
As the newspaper reports Le Monde, at a time when Turkey’s European vision is a thing of the past, Africa offers the Ankara government an ideal sphere of influence.
The Turkish president has completed 46 visits to 30 foreign countries, always accompanied by a multi-member custody of businessmen and business executives.
In accordance with Reuters, Turkish businessmen have secured major contracts to build major infrastructure projects in Africa, such as highways, stadiums and airports.
Exports of Turkish consumer goods, on average 30% cheaper than their European counterparts, are steadily rising, partly due to African consumers’ distrust of Chinese goods.
Increase in sales of Turkish weapons and defense equipment
Ankara’s motives, however, are more geopolitical than economic. The involvement of the Turkish army in Libya has convinced the Turkish president of the benefits of expanding Turkish influence on the African continent, as shown by the increased sales of Turkish weapons and defense equipment.
After Morocco and Tunisia, Ethiopia has expressed interest in buying Turkish Bayraktar drones. At the same time, Angola, Chad and Morocco increased their orders from Turkish defense industries this year.
As the website revealed a few days ago Nordic Monitor, Turkey’s arms sales reached a record high in 2021, with the largest increase being located in African countries.
These figures could be interpreted as the successful outcome of a strategy pursued by the government of Tayyip Erdogan to make Africa a new arms market for Turkey.
In particular, in the first 11 months of 2021, Turkey exported defense products worth $ 2.793 billion, an increase of 39.7% compared to the same period last year.
The Turkish defense industry, which set a record of $ 2.7 billion in exports in 2019, is preparing to set a new record, closing this year with exports of more than $ 3 billion.
A new record increase is expected in arms sales to African countries. Compared to last year, Turkey increased its defense exports to the continent by 700% in the first 11 months of 2021, from $ 41 million to $ 328 million.
Africa ranks fifth ($ 327 million) in Turkey’s defense exports, followed by North America ($ 1.56 billion), the Commonwealth of Independent States ($ 411 million), and the Middle East ($ 381.1 million). and European Union countries ($ 338 million).
Experts even predict that Africa may become the third largest market for Turkish arms sales in the near future.