The Growing Importance of Sub-Saharan Africa for Türkiye

18.03.2024

In recent years, Sub-Saharan Africa has increasingly attracted the attention of actors in the international system as a geography of strategic importance at both regional and global levels. The richness of natural resources, the size of the young population, economic potential and geopolitical position are among the key elements of this region. In this context, especially the young and dynamic population of Sub-Saharan Africa offers significant opportunities for labour potential and consumer markets. Economic growth potential and consumer demands make the region attractive for international companies and investors. This situation increases foreign direct investments in the region and strengthens economic relations.

In addition to its economic potential and dynamic young population, Sub-Saharan Africa stands out as a region rich in energy resources, mineral reserves, agricultural potential and water resources. This situation increases the interest in the region in terms of international energy security and resource diversification. At this point, the geopolitical position of Sub-Saharan Africa is also important in terms of security due to its proximity to the intersection points of maritime routes and its role in strategic corridors. Issues such as counter-terrorism, migration management and border security encourage international actors to engage in regional cooperation. With these dynamic components, Sub-Saharan Africa stands out as an important player on the international political and economic scene. Therefore, international interest and engagement in the region involves not only an economic but also a strategic and security-oriented perspective.

The increasing importance and attractive potential of Sub-Saharan Africa in the international system has attracted the attention of Türkiye as well as many other actors, and Türkiye’s interest in this region has intensified in recent years. In this respect, from a historical perspective, it is possible to say that Sub-Saharan Africa has gained strategic importance for Türkiye, especially in the last decade. At this point, the region has become an increasing priority in Türkiye’s foreign policy and an important actor in the country’s economic, political and cultural relations.

Türkiye takes a comprehensive approach to Sub-Saharan Africa not only from an economic perspective but also in the fields of security, energy and diplomacy. Türkiye’s interest in the region is concretely expressed through the increase in trade volume, diplomatic initiatives and development projects. In this context, Türkiye’s strategic cooperation with Sub-Saharan Africa aims to contribute to the stability of the region, strengthen bilateral relations and increase Türkiye’s influence in the global arena. These developments emphasise that Türkiye views Sub-Saharan Africa and the countries of the region not only as an economic partner but also as a long-term strategic partner. At this point, before going into more detail, it is important to go back to 1998, when Türkiye made moves to increase its presence in the African continent and Sub-Saharan geography in various ways, and to reveal how the importance of the region has evolved for Türkiye from a historical perspective.

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    Center for Diplomatic Affairs and Political Studies

    ‎مركز الشؤون الدبلوماسية والدراسات السياسية

    Centre des Affaires Diplomatiques et des études Politiques

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    外交事务与政治研究中心

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