Henry Okello Oryem MSFA/IA. Photo Credit: MoFA Uganda

Uganda is among a few African countries that will participate in the Second Review Conference on Africa-Turkey Partnership slated to take place on February 12, 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey.

According to a media statement, the conference is co-organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey and the African Union Commission. The latest conference is being held four years after the Second Africa-Turkey Summit held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in November 2014.

Uganda’s State Minister of Foreign Affairs Henry Okello Oryem is expected to represent the country at the meeting that will also have the representatives from Rwanda, Guinea, Egypt, Nigeria, Algeria, Senegal, Libya, South Africa, Uganda, Madagascar, Ethiopia, Togo, Gabon, Chad and the African Union Commission.

“Djibouti, Ivory Coast, Sudan, Somalia and Tanzania would be invited by Turkey as observers. Objectives:  Review the preparations for the Third Turkey-Africa Cooperation,” says part of the press statement.

The Conference coincides with the 10th Anniversary of the African Union Summit of 2008 in which Turkey was declared a strategic partner of the AU.

“The Ministers, taking into account the importance of the anniversary, will see how they can combine their efforts to further expand Africa-Turkey Partnership at all levels and in all fields based on equality and mutual benefit,” the statement indicates further.

Participants will review the progress achieved with regards to the partnership and discuss steps that can be taken in order to strengthen the cooperation between Africa and Turkey. They will also review the preparations for the Third Turkey-Africa Cooperation Summit which will take place in Istanbul, Turkey in 2019.

According to the statement, the partnership between Africa and Turkey focuses on socio-economic development, equality and mutual benefit.

Analysts say Turkey’s Africa policy has ushered in a new phase and gained momentum sine 2013. In 2009, there were only 12 Turkish embassies in Africa but these have grown to 35 and more are to open. On the other hand there has been a growing number of African embassies in Ankara, growing to 28 from 10, five years ago.

The partnership they say led to people to people contacts intensify tremendously as a result of direct fights between Turkey and African countries as well as ever growing number of students, business people and tourists travelling both sides.

The partnership has also seen Africa benefit in health especially countries like Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Niger. Whereas Turkey has earned contracts worth about US$30b by 2013.