The transition from the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to the African Union (AU) highlighted the need to promote African integration and the African continent ‘as one’ on the international stage, defend Africa’s common interests, and strengthen Africa’s position in the global economy and in the international community. These objectives are reinforced in both the Constitutive Act, which mandates the AU to “encourage international cooperation”, and in the Agenda 2063: Aspiration 7 which envisions “Africa as a strong, united, resilient and influential global player and partner”. Achieving this will entail improving Africa’s place in the global governance system; improving Africa’s partnerships, and refocusing them to respond to African priorities for growth and transformation, while ensuring that the continent can finance its own development and reduce aid dependency.
The Africa-Turkey partnership was formalized in the 2008 Istanbul Summit, during which two outcome documents were adopted, namely the Istanbul Declaration and the Framework for Cooperation. The second Africa-Turkey Summit took place in November 2014 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. The 2nd Summit adopted the Malabo Declaration, the Africa-Turkey Joint Implementation Plan and the Matrix of the Key Priority Projects covering Trade and Investment, Peace and Security, Culture, Tourism and Education, Youth Empowerment and Technology Transfer, Rural Economy and Agriculture, Infrastructure: Energy, ICT, and Transport as well as other topics such as health and media.
Against this backdrop, the 3rd Africa-Turkey Summit will kick off on 18 December 2021 and will be preceded by Senior Officials and Ministerial meetings from 16 December. On the margin of the Summit, a parallel Session on Health under the theme “Mobilizing Potentials for African Health Needs in the Pandemic and Post-Pandemic Era” will be organized by Ministers of Health and Heads of Delegation from Africa, representing the Continent and the African Union and the Minister of Health of the Republic of Turkey on17 December.
The high-level participation of the AU shows the commitment in strengthening collaboration on current issues in the global arena
The Summit will be officiated by the leadership of the African Union: H.E. Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Chairperson of the AU, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Albert M Muchanga, Commissioners for Economic Development, Trade, Industry and Mining (ETIM) and H.E. Ms. Josefa Leonel Correia Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment (ARBE), among other high officials from AU Member States.
The high-level participation of the AU shows the commitment in strengthening collaboration on current issues in the global arena as it relates to health, peace, security, governance and justice, human-focused development and strong and sustainable growth. The Africa-Turkey common actions for the period leading-up to the next Summit can be summarized under the following three sub-themes: Peace, security and justice; Human-focused development; and Strong and sustainable growth.
These sub-themes will be implemented under five strategic cooperation areas through a Joint Action Plan for the period 2021- 2026 leading up to the next Summit. Areas are as follows:
- Peace, Security and Governance;
- Trade, Investment and Industry;
- Education, STI skills, Youth and Women Development;
- Infrastructure Development and Agriculture; and
- Promoting Resilient Health Systems.
It is expected that the 3rd Summit will adopt capacity building trainings, including increase of judicial cooperation and relations between judicial institutions, including training cooperation and support, particularly when related to terrorist offenses, as well as security cooperation agreements to increase training cooperation on combating drug-related crimes, and vocational and technical education.
The Summit is expected to adopt the “Turkey-Africa Partnership Joint Action Plan 2021-2026″, which contains concrete actions to be implemented jointly by Turkey, the African Union and its Member States.