Türkiye has delivered 100,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines during President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), pledging to donate 1.1 million more jabs.
“I brought along 100,000 doses of vaccines with me (to the DRC),” Erdogan said, speaking at a joint press conference with his Congolese counterpart Felix Tshisekedi in the capital Kinshasa on Sunday.
“Our Health Ministry will send 1 million doses of Sinovac and 100,000 doses of the Turkovac vaccine, Türkiye’s locally manufactured Covid-19 jab”, Erdogan added.
The two countries have also signed several agreements covering various fields including military, aid, defence, and infrastructure.
The Turkish president’s two-day DRC trip is intended to help Ankara and Kinshasa to strengthen cooperation in the political, economic and security fields, the Congolese presidency said.
Earlier on Sunday, Erdogan was welcomed with an official ceremony by his counterpart Tshisekedi at the presidential palace in Kinshasa, where he arrived as the first stop of his Africa tour.
He is accompanied by senior Turkish officials, including the Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, National Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, and Communications Director Fahrettin Altun.
Relations between Ankara and Kinshasa have been good for several years and the volume of Turkish investments in the DRC continues to grow.
Bilateral trade between the two countries amounts to about 40 million dollars but Türkiye is seeking to further strengthen its presence in Africa.
Erdogan’s four-day Africa tour, from February 20 to 23, will move on to the West African countries of Senegal and Guinea-Bissau.
The tour is expected to focus on all aspects of bilateral relations and opportunities for improving cooperation between Türkiye and these countries in all fields.
During his visit to the Senegalese capital Dakar, Erdogan will attend the opening ceremony of the Dakar Olympic Stadium built by a Turkish company. He will also inaugurate Türkiye’s new embassy building.
Erdogan’s visit to Guinea-Bissau will mark the first presidential visit from Türkiye to the West African country.
Erdogan has visited Africa nearly 40 times since 2005, as prime minister and president, since when Türkiye has opened some 40 embassies on the continent.