Turkey to welcome Ghanaian president

Turkey to welcome Ghanaian president

Turkey to welcome Ghanaian president

Ghanaian President Mahama’s visit comes after he was sworn in as president. AFP photo

Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama is set to arrive in Turkey today for a three-day official visit, at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gül.

Mahama will be accompanied by a large business delegation, as well as three members of the Cabinet, during his visit, which will be the first president-level visit from Ghana to Turkey. This will also serve as a return visit to Gül’s visit to Ghana in March 2011. The visit will take place only days after Mahama was sworn in as president on Jan. 7 following his election with an absolute majority of 50.7 percent in a poll last month.

In line with Turkey’s Africa initiative, Gül hosted heads of state from 10 sub-Saharan African countries in the last five years on official visits, while also paying official visits to nine countries on the continent, the statement said. 

The visit will serve to strengthen bilateral relations and offer an opportunity to seek additional fields of cooperation, according to the presidential press office. 

In 2010, Turkey opened an embassy in the Ghanaian capital city Accra, while Ghana opened its embassy in Ankara in the fall of 2012. 

Since declaring 2005 the “Year of Africa,” Turkey has expanded its diplomatic footprint on the continent as a precursor to opening new supply routes for its fast-growing, resource-hungry economy.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid his first foreign trip abroad of 2013 with visits to Gabon, Niger and Senegal. While in Niger, he said Turkey had 31 embassies in total on the African continent, 26 of which are in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2013, this number will rise to 34 with embassies set to open in Chad and Djibouti, he said. k HDN