Beninese president: African relations imperative for Turkish power

Date posted: December 13, 2013


Since Turkey kicked off a strategic initiative to improve its commercial relations with Africa in 2003, this extra attention has resulted in an increased trade volume with the continent.

Beninese President Thomas Yayi Boni said Africa also sees Turkey from a strategic perspective, noting that Turkey is one of Benin’s high-priority partners. Turkey’s economy ranks 16th in the world and sixth in Europe, it is part of the European political stage and it also has an effective presence on the global stage, he said, going on to underline that it is imperative for Turkey to strengthen its relations with Africa in order to consolidate and increase its own power.

Speaking to Today’s Zaman in İstanbul on Thursday evening, Boni said Benin and Turkey share the same vision of the African continent as the cradle of civilization, but this still needs to be heeded globally in terms of politics and economy. The whole continent is in a phase of new development and Benin is no exception, Boni asserted, calling on Turkish businesspeople to come and participate in this growth.

Noting that this is his third visit to Turkey since he was elected president, Boni explained that he believes there are lessons to be learned from developing countries about business management and productivity, and Turkey is a good model in that sense. “Benin needs development, and Turkey seems to be a pole of the world’s growth,” he said, adding that his visits also aim to create a structure of mutual relations.

The strategic partnership between Turkey and Benin dates back to 2008, Boni noted. “But we have progressed really fast. Turkey has been very friendly to us and a baby was born out of this friendship. But it has grown so big [in such a short time] that it is as if it was born with teeth,” he said.

The president said the talks with Turkish officials have been very fruitful, resulting in a number of cooperation agreements in the fields of health, medical science, reciprocal protection, the promotion of investments and reciprocal visa exemptions for those holding diplomatic passports. Also, the two sides held discussions on the prospect of opening a Turkish embassy in Benin, Boni added. The talks included a number of incentives in terms of agricultural investment, he said, adding that the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TİKA) will also come to Benin to seek ways to deepen this partnership. Boni explained that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had promised to begin his next African visit in Benin, saying that “this would be a gift for the Beninese people.”

The second day of the president’s trip included meetings with the Turkish business world. He attended the Turkey-Benin Trade and Investment Forum, organized by the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON) in İstanbul. During the forum, businessmen from both countries held talks on investment and trade opportunities, forming what Boni called “a win-win situation.” Such opportunities will increase the prosperity of the Beninese people, the president added.

No deal yet with MNG on $300 million dam

Benin has been in talks with Turkey’s MNG Holding about the construction of the country’s first hydroelectric power plant since the foundation of the African republic. The project is projected to cost $300 million and will have an established capacity of 150 megawatts. Boni said the negotiations have been quite productive and the main points of the agreement have been agreed on, but the two sides are yet to sign the deal. “Let me take this opportunity to convey my thanks to the chairman of MNG, who really is a perfect investor and has a great love for Africa and Benin,” Boni said. The power plant will probably be contracted out on a build-operate-transfer basis, but all the details will be clarified when they gather again to settle the remaining issues. The president stated that he hoped this would occur before Jan. 15, 2014. Boni explained that his country needs energy, “without which development is not possible.”

Boni did not hesitate to express his love for Turkey, joking, “Every time I come to Turkey, I say to myself, ‘I wish I won’t return.’ But then it will be a problem for the Beninese, since they will have to elect a new president.”

Source: Today's Zaman , December 13, 2013

Related News

Somali’s Future Brighter with Turkish Schools

After opening the first Turkish school, Bedir Academy, in Mogadishu, Somalia, Turkish entrepreneurs are this time opening an educational complex with a capacity of 700 students on the campus of the old Technical University. The complex will have a school building, a dormitory, faculty housing, guesthouses, and a theater. When it is completed, it will […]

Nigerian school wins 48 Olympiad medals in 1 year

The Nigerian Turkish International Colleges (NTIC) has won no fewer than 48 Olympiad medals in one year, Mr Muazu Omeji, Principal NTIC, Abuja has said.

Fethullah Gulen: Bridge Between Islam And The West

Gulen deserves this honour considering the quantum leap in humanity that is tied to his spirit of caring for those in need without any strings attached. He remains the best example of service to humanity in a world running short of caring models.

Nigeria Gives 7-Day Ultimatum to Turkish Government to Release Over 50 Nigerian Students Held in Detention

The House of Representatives on Tuesday issued a seven-day ultimatum to Turkish Government to release over 50 Nigerian students being held in detention. The House called on the federal government to urgently deploy all diplomatic options to ensure their immediate release.

Once lauded as model, Turkey’s Africa initiative loses momentum

One of the main reasons behind the loss of momentum in Turkey’s once-intense efforts to boost relations with African states is the Turkish government’s effort to win domestic battles at any cost. In one such attempt, the Turkish government started to work on a plan to get states to close down Turkish schools abroad that are affiliated with the Hizmet movement, which is inspired by the teachings of Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and known as one of Turkey’s most important soft-power instruments.

Turkish doctors perform 13,000 cataract operations in Sudan, Somalia

Volunteer Turkish doctors conducted cataract surgery on more than 13,000 patients in Sudan and Somalia. Doctors from all over Turkey volunteered in South Darfur’s capital. A similar campaign is being maintained permanently by volunteer Turkish doctors in various regions of the African continent. One doctor recounted: “There was one family in which everyone was blind: the father, the mother and the kids. Their sight was returned to all of them.

Latest News

This notable Pocono resident has been living here in exile since 1999

Logistics companies seized over Gülen links sold in fast-track auction

That is Why the Turkish Government could Pay 1 Billion Euros

ECtHR rules Bulgaria violated rights of Turkish journalist who was deported despite seeking asylum

Fethullah Gülen’s Message of Condolences in the Wake of the Western European Floods

Pregnant woman kept in prison for 4 months over Gülen links despite regulations

Normalization of Abduction, Torture, and Death in Erdogan’s Turkey

Turkey’s Maarif Foundation illegally seized German-run school in Ethiopia, says manager

Failed 2016 coup was gov’t plot to purge Gülenists from state bodies, journalist claims

In Case You Missed It

Mr. Fethullah Gülen’s Message of Condolences for Rev. Billy Graham

Turkey pledges to help rebuild Bosnia after floods

Peshawar High Court Restrains Federal Government From Deporting Turkish Teachers Of Pak-Turk School Till Dec 1

International Workshop – Hizmet Movement between Political Islam and Civil Islam

Lawyer: Female journalist traumatized by abuse, torture at Turkish police station

17,000 women, 515 babies in Turkish prisons: SCF report

NBA Player Enes Kanter: I’ve Spoken Out Against Turkey’s President Erdogan and Now I Can’t Go Home

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News