The new Turkish Embassy building in Senegal will take the ties between the two countries "one step further," said the Turkish president on Tuesday.
Inaugurating the new embassy building in the capital Dakar during an official visit, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said: "Our relations with Senegal, which is a key country in the region, are at an excellent level."
He said the original embassy, dating back to the 1960s, was one of Turkey’s first in Africa.
"The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) opened its first office in West Africa in Dakar in 2007," he added.
With the opening of the new building, Erdoğan said: "Today, we take our strong historical, cultural and human ties one step further."
"I hope the new building of our Dakar Embassy will be beneficial to our country, our nation, and the people of Senegal."
Adding that he will also attend the opening ceremony of the Dakar Olympic Stadium built by a Turkish firm, Erdoğan said: "I am pleased that Turkish companies support the infrastructure and development of Senegal, especially the construction sector."
More embassies in Africa
The Turkish Maarif Foundation has so far provided education to nearly 800 students in Senegal, said Erdoğan.
"I believe these beautiful children will play important roles in the future of Senegal," he said.
The group took control of the Senegalese schools once run by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group responsible for a failed 2016 coup in Turkey.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Turkey has provided Turkish missions abroad with "exemplary buildings worthy of our country's reputation, thus increasing the quality of the service we provide to our citizens."
He added: "In the last 20 years, the number of our embassies (in Africa) has risen from 12 to 43. Our aim is to increase it to 50."
Erdoğan is in Senegal for the second stop of his four-day official visit to Africa, also including the Democratic Republic of Congo and Guinea-Bissau.
Turkey-Africa relations gained new acceleration with the country's policy of "Strategic Africa," initiated by Erdoğan in 2003. To this effect, the number of Turkish Embassies in Africa has increased from just 12 in 2002 to 43 in 2021. Turkey became an "observer member" of the African Union in 2005, and the union declared Turkey a "strategic partner" in 2008.