With Turkey emerging as a top trade and development partner in Africa, specialized logistics partners are playing a vital role in expanding that exchange.
As African economies have continued to grow at an average 5% annual rate, Turkey has emerged as one of the continent’s top partners, rivaling both European Union members and China.
As a result, Turkey is now the fourth largest private trading partner with African nations, and is the third biggest donor of official development aid to the continent. That increasingly closer relationship isn’t a matter of chance.
The rise of Turkey as an active and key partner to Africa has been a major policy priority of Turkish governments in recent years. That objective involves considerable economic and diplomatic stakes for both sides in the future.
According to the Turkish Foreign Affairs Ministry, bilateral trade between Turkey and Africa increased tenfold between 2000 and 2014, when volumes reached $23.4 billion. (Around a third of that involves sub-Saharan countries). Though that is still far smaller than the $200 billion in business between Africa and China in 2013, Turkey’s African focus has swiftly accelerated the rate of exchange -- which Ankara expects to grow to $50 billion by 2023.
Total Turkish private investment in Africa reached $6 billion in 2014, led by companies active in African sectors including construction and public works, textiles, food products, FMCG and energy. The reason Ankara considers the potential for further expansion in Africa enormous is clear: businesses driving Turkey’s own emerging economy can provide African partners services and products of European quality, but at prices as low as Asian competitors.
Turkey is fueling its partnership with Africa in other ways, too. As Ankara works to bolster trade, development aid and diplomatic cooperation with African markets, flagship carrier Turkish Airlines has facilitated passenger and air cargo movement between the two areas. The airline now operates flights to over 40 destinations in 28 African countries, which is helping increase the flow of the some 200,000 people currently travelling between Africa and Turkey for business and tourism.
Turkish freight forwarding specialist Horoz Bolloré Logistics is playing a valuable role in that increasing flow of trade, and is ideally placed to handle future growth on both ends of the logistics chain. At the start of 2015, the company focused its strengths and advantages in helping clients involved in expanding Turkish-African exchange.
“Horoz Bolloré Logistics’ staff in Turkey operates out of nine Turkish industrial centers capable of covering the entire country,” says company director Yann Liegard. “It also works in close and integrated fashion with Bolloré’s unrivalled logistics and transport network in Africa, covering 45 countries with a workforce of over 10,000 people.”
Perhaps nowhere are its capacities to assist clients with projects in Africa more valuable than in booming heavy industrial areas like mines, raw material production and the energy sector – a vital activity in which Turkish groups have already claimed a large share.
The company provided logistics service to the formidable task of deploying the MV Karadeniz Powership Ayşegül Sultan from Turkey to Ghana, where it now generates 10% of the country’s electricity needs. Safe transportation of the 135.8 meter-long, 12.5-ton floating electric station was only the initial challenge in the project. It also required expert assistance from project partners to undertake final preparations for the vessel, and oversee its 240 MW-capacity generator being connected to Ghana’s power grid.
Completion of that mission was only the most recent for Horoz Bolloré Logistics, which in the past year alone has participated in successful exchange and investment projects in countries including Ghana, Congo and Senegal.