Turkey to open to Africa in energy sector Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Yildiz: 'Turkey aims to help Africans to benefit from their own energy and natural resource richness'

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey has taken a recent tack to Africa, which has abundant supplies of energy and natural resources, to boost efficiency in its energy sector.

Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz said Sunday that the country had signed memorandums of understanding with countries such as Djibouti, Cameroon, Niger, Sudan, Kenya and Gambia. The agreements have been negotiated over the past two years in parallel with the Turkish government’s “African Initiative Policy.”

The ministry is working on similar agreements with countries including Nigeria, South Africa, Botswana, Gabon, Somalia, Equatorial Guinea, Uganda, Mauritania, Ghana, Namibia, Mozambique and Zambia.

“We form our African policy by considering the demands and benefits of both sides,” said Yildiz. “As a requirement of our multifaceted foreign policy, we aim to establish a sustainable relationship with African countries.”

He said the Turkish government attaches great importance to cooperation with Africa in the energy and mining sectors.

“Both public and private representatives formed energy teams to share their experiences by communicating with representatives from various African countries,” he said. “The relationships between the countries will be solidified thanks to the projects carried out by our businessmen and non-governmental organizations.”

He also said the government had arranged vocational education programs in the fields of oil, mining and electricity in Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti and Kenya.

“We plan to organize educational programs in Cameroon and Niger, too,” he said.

Africa has rich energy potential

Africa consists of 54 counties, 45 of which have proven or probable oil reserves. The continent also has about 8 percent of the world’s natural gas reserves.

According to data from the International Energy Agency, Africa ranks as one of the regions with the highest potential in terms of renewable energy. The continent’s hydroelectric power potential alone is triple the amount of electricity now consumed in the region.

About 1 billion of the world’s 7.2 billion people use 75 percent of the world’s energy. And more than 1 billion Africans have no access to electricity at all.

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