(July 5, 2018 / JNS) A delegation of 10 African business leaders and entrepreneurs are touring Israel as part of an effort to grow further business and development ties between the Jewish state and sub-Saharan Africa.
The tour, organized by the American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange, features African business leaders and entrepreneurs from Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, who specialize in renewable energy and agriculture, to meet with Israeli counterparts in those fields.
“We are delighted to host such a distinguished business delegation in Israel and to facilitate introductions to counterparts in fields that symbolize the potential for enhanced engagement between Africa and Israel,” said Eliseo Neuman, director of AJC’s Africa Institute, who is accompanying the delegation in Israel. “We thank the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce in Tel Aviv for its advice in designing the program and granting us access to its impressive membership.”
While Africa is rich in natural resources, there are important bilateral benefits to be realized through expanded exchange of agricultural and other technologies between Israel and Africa.
Since Israel’s founding, the country’s agricultural sector has maintained high yields despite severe and chronic water shortages, and Israel is now sharing its water-technology expertise with countries around the world. For years, Africa has made remarkable advances through the integration of such Israeli agricultural expertise and technology.
In recent years, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sought to build stronger relations with sub-Saharan Africa. In 2016, he visited four East African nations, including Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Uganda. He also visited Kenya again in late 2017, where he met with 11 African leaders.
Netanyahu has also sought to bolster diplomatic ties with African nations, including their support for Israel in international forums, while also offering Israel’s expertise in high-tech, water and agriculture to help the developing nations.