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Turkey, a Major Player in the Economy of Senegal

Turkey has increasingly strengthened its co-operation with Senegal as to become one of the key economic partners of the West African country. In some of the vital sectors of the Senegalese economy, Turkish companies are taking the lead role.

The second political changeover in Senegal did more than just bring a new government. After the election of Macky Sall, the Senegal-Turkey axis broadened into a win-win partnership. One only has to look back in the mirror to realize Prime Ministers of Senegal and Turkey had logged  a number of visits in each other’s countries. Trips that were all sanctioned by promising agreements. And for Senegal, those visits have been fruitful. Today, investors flock the country and are active in various key sectors of the Senegalese economy.

Turkish Expertise to the Benefit of Senegal

They may work in the agri business, automotive, farming, aviation, furnishings, textile… There are dozens of investors operating in Senegal and most are conducting their business incognito.

However, the most important Turkish investment in Senegal is the FKS corporation, a grain mill producing flour. In the education field, the Turkish presence is embodied by the Yavuz Selim institution, a reference and a source of great pride in the country. Indeed, every year, Yavuz Selim’s students top the rankings of the general competition exam. In the health sector, the ophthalmological centre too, bears the Turkish stamp. In the construction industry, the Turkish corporation Summa Turizm Yatirimciligi A.S won over even the most hardened sceptics with the building of the International Conference Centre in Diamnadio, an architectural masterpiece where the Francopohonie Summit was hosted recently.

In the aviation sector, the national flag carrier Turkish Airlines is through with its conquest of the Senegalese skies. The airline has also entered the air freight market with an opening flight event that showed the space now occupied by Turkish Airlines in Senegal’s national airport platform. On this matter, the Minister for Tourism and Air Transportation, Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr expressed his satisfaction: ‘Air freight is purely economic. It materializes the economic playing field and its vitality. We know transportation of passengers happens daily. We support Turkish Airlines as they have paved the way for other companies…’ Words that speak volumes.That Senegal is so pleased with the Turkish carrier can be explained by the key role it could play in the recovery of Senegal Airlines.

Next : An International Market and A Large Heavyweight Terminal

Evaluated at 105 million dollars of which 85% will be financed by the Turkish bank Exim, the project of an international market and a heavyweight terminal is one that should infuse new life into Senegal’s economy. The construction work of this 35-hectare site in Diamnadio was planned to start at the end of March 2016. The project generates waves of enthusiasm in Senegal: ‘we are going to have an economic ecosystem that allows all actors from the agricultural value chain to perform their business’, declared Trade Minister Alioune Sarr.

In the sector of furnishings, Turkish company DM plans to build a manufacturing unit for a total cost of XOF 25 billion. With imports accounting for XOF 95 billion, it seems clear Turkey has elected Senegal as its starting ground to conquer the African market.


By Mouhamed Camara

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