Turkey looks to deepen relations with African countries in a bid to create win-win development goals.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Angola's capital Luanda for the first leg of his mini-tour of three African countries, also including Nigeria and Togo.
Erdogan was welcomed by Angola's Foreign Minister Tete Antonio and Alp Ay, Turkey's ambassador to the Southern African nation, at Quatro de Fevereiro International Airport.
Accompanying the president are first lady Emine Erdogan, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, and Trade Minister Mehmet Mus.
Turkey’s President Erdogan has arrived in Angola, kicking off a four-day diplomatic tour to Africa. TRT World’s Andrew Hopkins has more pic.twitter.com/HXM2UhwN3F— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) October 17, 2021
The streets of Luanda were decorated with Turkish flags to celebrate the Turkish president's arrival. Billboards showing Erdogan could also be seen in Nigeria's capital Abuja ahead of his visit.
Erdogan will start his official talks on Monday. The Turkish president will be welcomed by his Angolan counterpart Joao Lourenco with an official ceremony at the Presidential Palace.
The two leaders will hold a joint press conference after one-on-one talks and delegation meetings.
Erdogan is also expected to address Angola's parliament. He will later visit the Memorial of Dr. Antonio Agostinho Neto, the country's first president, who died in 1979.
Erdogan later will attend the Angola-Turkey Business Forum organized by Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK).
"We're becoming Africa's leading trade partner," Erdogan said on Sunday during a press conference in Istanbul before his departure.
"Our relations with African countries are not based on colonialism and we want to succeed together with our brothers and sisters across the continent," Erdogan said.
The trip is significant as Turkey is hosting two important events in Istanbul: a two-day Turkey-Africa 3rd Economy and Business Summit on Oct 21, and a two-day Turkey-Africa 3rd Partnership Summit on Dec 17.
Turkey aims to contribute to the economic and social development of the continent with peace and stability, as well as to develop bilateral relations on the basis of equal partnership and mutual benefit.
To this effect, the number of Turkish embassies in Africa has increased from just 12 in 2002 to 43 in 2021.
Turkey's trade with Africa was $5.4 billion at the end of 2003, which climbed to $25.3 billion by 2020, despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Turkey's President Erdogan to begin four-day diplomatic tour to Angola, Nigeria and Togo in a bid to tighten political, humanitarian, economic and cultural ties pic.twitter.com/WTrlundNun— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) October 17, 2021