With cooperation of African Union, hosting of T.R. Ministry of economy and contributions of TIM and DEIK, Turkey-Africa Economy and Business Forum was held on 2-3 November 2016 in İstanbul.
T.R. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and African Union Term President and Chad President Idriss Déby Itno participated in the opening ceremony of Turkey-Africa Economy and Business Forum. More than 2.500 senior executives from Turkey and over 50 African country, business people and entrepreneurs, T.R. Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi, ministers from African countries, private sector foundation presidents and company representatives, African Union and African Development bank's senior executives and secretary general of Africa regional economy unions participated in the Forum.
"We see that a single government system is being imposed upon other countries under the name of globalization"
Giving a speech in Turkey-Africa Economy and Business Forum's opening session, President Erdoğan told that the Forum was the fruit of a close cooperation between Turkey and Africa Continent and African Union. Pointing out that we were in a process were boundaries and distances lost their meaning and the world has turned into a large village and that this process engulfed all countries like a whirlpool, President Erdoğan "We see that a single prescription, a single way of development-improvement and a single government system are being imposed on other countries. Not only developing powers such as Turkey, but also our African, South American and Asian friends are having their share from this imposition" said.
Defining the perception of globalization, which does not regard to Africa's priorities, social sensitivities, hundreds of years of customs and traditions, as 'a new way of colonialism and a modern slavery system', President Erdoğan told "This new colonialism model that fettered hands and feet 2-3 centuries ago is now aiming our national economy, industry, political system and our minds".
"We deem Africa's priorities as our own"
Stating that Turkey deemed priorities of Africa continent as its own, President Erdoğan told that they have been considering the continent in this way since 2005 when they started Africa initiative and that they saw Africa and Turkey as having a 'common fate'. Emphasizing they were striving for improving voluntary relations with continental countries, forming long-term alliances and constituting permanent cooperation rather than a momentary win-win basis, President "We have a lot to learn from Africa's knowledge, experiences and passion to fight against difficulties" said.
Touching upon that economic and commercial relations were one of the main components of the comprehensive approach of Turkey towards Africa continent, President Erdoğan explained that they have signed Commercial and Economic Cooperation Agreements with 40 African countries until today and created combined economic commission mechanisms. Reminding that mutual Business Councils were created with 34 African countries within the body of DEIK and various agreements were signed with numerous African countries, President Erdoğan told the majority of those took effect and wished maximum mutual benefit from Turkey-Africa Economy and Business Forum.
On the second day of the Forum, economic cooperation opportunities between Turkey and Africa and especially infrastructure, energy and transportation were discussed, many agreements were signed.
Thematic session titled "Financing of Investment Projects in Africa: Infrastructure, Transportation and Energy" was held with participations of Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekçi and African Union Commission's Economic Works Officer Dr. Antony Mothae Maruping. Making a speech in the opening of the session, Minister of Economy Zeybekçi stated that they gathered with senior executives in order to deal financing of investment projects in Africa, infrastructure, transport and energy within the scope of the Forum. Reflecting his content with the first day of the forum, Minister Zeybekçi "I was informed both mutual meetings and the meetings between companies of private sector were beneficial. I wish this continue and accomplish a result" told.
"Future is in Africa"
Stating that Turkey was closely bonding with Africa by heart in his speech, Minister of Economy Zeybekçi told "Our ambition to conduct business in here is of the magnitude that will affect not only ourselves, our country or region but the whole world; for the future is in Africa."
"There are lots of business opportunities in our continent"
African Union Commission's Economic Works Officer Dr. Antony Mothae Maruping stated that infrastructure and energy subjects had great weight in Africa; he told infrastructure, storing and transportation areas required investment for service. Officer Dr. Maruping stressed upon the significance of rendering this project applicable and told it was an option to create consortium so as to gather financial resources. Stating that formulas of build-operate-transfer and public-private sector cooperation could be followed, Dr. Maruping told "There are lots of business opportunities in our continent".
4 agreements were signed between Turkey and African countries
4 separate agreements were signed between Turkey and certain African countries within the scope. Making a speech in signing ceremony and press conference, Minister of Economy Zeybekçi emphasized Turkey's support to Africa would continue to increase. Mentioning both parties endeavor of conducting joint work, Zeybekçi said Turkish and African governments should lead the way for business worlds for the benefit of both parties. Minister Zeybekçi told "African governments conducted more than 20 informative project presentations for Turkish businessmen and more than 2.000 businessmen met".