Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit four West African countries next week, in a new sign of desire to be a major influence in the region.
Erdogan will begin his visit in Ivory Coast on Sunday, before travelling to Ghana and then Nigeria, ultimately wrapping up his tour in Guinea on Thursday.
The visit is aimed at deepening Turkey’s “strategic partnership” with Africa and developing relations with members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a presidential statement announcing the tour said on Saturday.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been in power since 2014.
This will be the first time a sitting Turkish president will be visiting Ivory Coast and Guinea.
In January 2015, Erdogan visited Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia. This trip is now seen as a drive by the leader to increase his country’s presence in Africa.
Turkey has more than tripled the number of embassies it has in Africa since 2009 while flag carrier Turkish Airlines has dozens of destinations on the continent.