Growing with Africa in Africa

Pandemics, wars, and changes in the DNA of global supply chains have affected each country in different ways. At this point, regional wars, struggles, and the search for legitimacy have pushed us into a new world order that we have never been used to before. As the rise in bond prices in the US pushed interest rates upward in all countries, the world on the brink of recession began to ring the bells of stagflation. With the recession in Europe, the working day in Germany was reduced from 5 days to 4 days and bankruptcies started to follow each other, and this picture began to mirror itself in the UK and other European countries.

Continued wars and regional power struggles will push up oil prices, which will negatively affect the exports of countries like Türkiye that have to grow through production. When the aforementioned negative picture of Europe, which has a very important share in Türkiye’s exports, is added to this situation, we will naturally need to find new markets. At this point, we come across Africa, which has once again become the center of the struggle of the “great powers” with all its potential.


Africa’s resilience threshold is actually much higher than expected, given macroeconomic conditions. If GDP growth in Africa can continue at the robust pace of 2000-2010, Africa’s global economic size will reach $4.6 trillion, representing a surplus of over $1.7 trillion by 2030.

Looking at the distribution of important minerals and energy resources in the world, Africa stands out. It is important to emphasize that on average 30 percent of the world’s total underground resources are located on the African continent.


The agricultural sector accounts for 35 percent of the total GDP in the continent, which hosts 60 percent of the world’s arable and uncultivated land. Africa has the potential to become a global agricultural powerhouse and a net exporter of food. Although the world has been slow to realize this potential, efforts, and investments are underway at frequent international summits and meetings to turn the continent’s food imports, which are approaching $80 billion a year, into exports. The fact that the rural population in Africa has increased from 375 million to nearly 700 million in the last 30 years shows that it has the potential to be a producer. In light of these developments, we expect the African food and agriculture market, which reached 280 billion dollars in 2023, to reach 1 trillion dollars in 2030.


In the Nairobi Declaration signed at the African Climate Summit held in Kenya in September under the auspices of the African Union, Africa called on the developed world to implement global carbon taxes as soon as possible. Africa’s potential in the ‘Green Energy’ sector allows us to predict that by 2030, the continent will receive 100 billion dollars in funding. With both green wall projects and green energy projects, Africa will now be the center of a fairer distribution.


Africa, the focus of global powers, now has new guests. The European Union countries, led by France and the UK, and the United States are no longer alone on the continent. With a trade volume of 188 billion dollars, China has a presence in every country on the continent and is the continent’s largest commercial player with its economic power and credit facilities. While India has a trade volume of nearly 120 billion dollars in Africa, Russia has increased its trade volume to nearly 24 billion dollars in the last 5 years with mutual agreements with 19 different African countries and African summits organized. In addition to this important trio, countries such as South Korea and Brazil should also be added to the table.


With the new state of mind it put forward in 2002, Türkiye surprisingly found a place in the African cooperation league. At this point, with our embassies opened in 44 countries, our trade consultancies in 31 countries, our trade volume of 41 billion dollars, which has increased by 800 percent in the last 20 years, our free trade agreement signed with 5 African countries, and our commercial and economic cooperation agreements signed with 48 African countries, we have brought the whole world to the point where they say “Where did Türkiye come from?”. Virtually every assessment of Africa is based on due diligence and opportunities. Instead, let’s discuss what needs to be done with a mini swot analysis in this article.

Our Strengths in Africa-Türkiye Trade Relations:

– The fact that Mr. President is the most visited head of state in Africa with 53 visits and that he has a high level of brand value in the continent – Having easy access to the continent with the flight capacity of Turkish Airlines – The presence of African students studying in Türkiye contributes to the preservation of commercial memory – The interest of our institutions such as DEİK, TİM, and MÜ- SİAD in the continent and the activities closely followed by the business world of the continent – The open support of our Ministry of Trade to almost all fairs in the continent – Our proposal for a fair, equal partnership and a win-win strategy is highly appreciated on the continent

Our Weaknesses in Africa-Türkiye Trade Relations:

– Lack of a sufficient number of African specialists in our – The language barrier that our companies that want to export to French-speaking countries cannot overcome – The fact that the potential of the African continent is still not sufficiently explored by our business world – Although Türkiye’s exports are increasing day by day, African countries are still at the bottom of the list and our business world is not curious enough about the continent – The fact that the export moves to the continent are mostly designed with Türkiye-centered organizations, and that our business world does not visit the countries of the continent sufficiently – The recent rise in port costs in Türkiye, the fact that direct non-stop Africa routes from Türkiye have not yet been opened – The negative response to our changed visa application in the African business world, the inability of African traders to obtain visas to our country as easily as before

Opportunities in Africa-Türkiye Relations:

– Increasing interest in Türkiye and Turkish goods, which has stepped in as a soft power against growing anti-French sentiment, may create new opportunities for us in exports – The large number of SMEs based in Türkiye allows us to flexibly and quickly meet the needs of the emerging middle- generation economic class in Africa – Continuity of trade and exports due to shuttle trade and the surplus of students – The appetite of major funds seeking to do business in Africa to partner with Turkish companies in terms of experience sharing – African companies’ willingness to do business with Türkiye Threats in Africa-Türkiye Relations: – Low levels of investment and production compared to competitor countries – China’s introduction of the “visa at the door” application to many African countries, especially Senegal, which was put into effect with the negative atmosphere created by the changing visa regime in Türkiye in order to increase its influence on the continent – Re-popularization of the United Arab Emirates and China on the Continent with their partial transportation advantages – Morocco, Egypt, and South Africa becoming producers on the continent as the world starts to shift its investments – With the African Continental Free Trade Agreement signed on January 1, 2022, Turkish companies started to delay in making the necessary moves in response to the motivation to increase intra-continental trade – Our inability to produce enough actions in the face of the Lebanese lobby, which produces moves on the ground in response to the new customs practices of African countries to reduce imports.

All these analyses point to the existence of very important opportunities and the need to make more use of our strengths.

Granting e-visas to African business people who travel frequently to countries such as the EU and the USA, provided that they buy tickets from Turkish Airlines, assigning immigration officers in our Embassies so that young African traders with commercial potential can easily discover our country, turning our trade consultancies into Trade Support Offices with new staff and assigning Trade Counsellors responsible for the development of the main sectors in each country, as well as hosting interns from African students in their companies at least 2 days a week to close the French deficit of our companies, Lobbying activities to increase the number and scope of free trade agreements and increasing the number of Turkish Chambers of Commerce and association branches to operate in the countries and realizing the Turkish Lobby are important for trade relations between Africa and Türkiye.

We hope to meet in the beautiful days when we realize all of these, when the trade volumes of 100 billion dollars in Türkiye-Africa relations are achieved in the near future.