Turkish companies have made major investments in Senegal in recent years and Dakar's position among prestigious capitals in the world has been solidified with their projects.
Senegal's Minister of Trade and Commerce Alioune Sarr held firm to this notion, saying, "Turkish investments brought the Olympics to Senegal."
"Both Turkey and Turkish investments have a significant role in the fact that Senegal will be hosting the 2022 Summer Youth Olympics. The increase in investments further raises Senegal's chances of hosting international organizations," Sarr said.
He was quoted by Anadolu Agency (AA) as saying that, with the support of Türk Eximbank, Turkish investors have made significant investments in the fields of construction and infrastructure in Senegal in recent years. He said this was especially true in the construction of exhibition grounds, hotels, sports complexes, an airport, a congress center and a huge market complex.
The Senegalese trade and commerce minister stressed that Turkey has a significant place in Senegal's economy. He said the commercial partnership with Turkey is important and that Senegal has made significant progress with Turkish investments and now ranks among the fastest developing countries in the world.
The foreign trade volume between Turkey and Senegal in 2017 stood at around $248.6 million, while the same figure stood at $91.8 million in 2008, according to Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) data. Sarr said that in the first week of January, the International City Market Complex, a Turkish investment worth $110 million, will be realized.
He also added that the 50,000-person stadium is expected to be completed in 2020 near the Dakar Arena Complex, a Turkish investment built in Diamniadio in August. The sports complex will be realized by Summa Construction, a Turkish company that also undertook the construction of Dakar Arena. Sarr also touched upon the fact that the new exhibition center, which was also completed by Summa Construction and inaugurated by Senegal's President Macky Sall, contributed to Senegal's commercial and industrial strategy. The minister said this exhibition center will enable Senegal's products to be easily traded in both domestic and international markets. "The commercial and economic partnership between Turkey and Senegal will be further improved. The Turkish companies can also contribute to all the projects realized within the framework of the Emerging Senegal Plan," he continued, highlighting that Senegalese brands are quite eager in this regard. Taking into account the newly-built sports complexes and development projects realized in the country during a meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina in August, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chose Dakar to be the host of the 2022 Summer Youth Olympics. Senegal beat out other African countries such as Botswana, Nigeria and Tunisia to win the bid.