Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced plans to partner with Zambia for economic development. The announcement was made on an official visit to Zambia, following Erdoğan’s visit to Johannesburg for the annual BRICS summit.

Erdoğan met his Zambian counterpart, President Edgar Lungu, in Lusaka over the weekend where the two signed 12 agreements covering a number of sectors of the economy, including tourism. This was the first time a Turkish president has visited Zambia.

Turkish Airlines’ Chairman, İlker Aycı, was working toward resuming direct flights to Zambia by December, said Erdoğan. This news was welcomed by Lungu who said direct flights would boost relations between the two nations and was a positive outcome of Zambia’s extensive work on its airports.

Zambia’s Ambassador in Turkey, Joseph Chilengi, reiterated this sentiment last week when he called for the implementation of a Bilateral Air Service Agreement between the two countries, saying direct flights would open up Zambia as a destination for travel.