A diverse delegation from Africa, representing nations such as South Africa, Nigeria, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Ghana, Kenya and Angola, recently wrapped up a transformative week in Israel. Their mission: to delve into Israel’s cutting-edge advancements, particularly those enhancing food and water security.
The mission’s guiding force was the Heartland Initiative. Led with passion by senior partners Yonathan Ben Yisrael and Gedaliah Blum, the delegation also benefited immensely from the insights and support of Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Fleur Hassan-Nahoum.
While Jerusalem played a gracious host with a conference at the Ramada Hotel, the delegation’s journey was not confined to the historic city. Tel Aviv, with its pulsating technological vibe, presented a series of enriching engagements. Notable among them were interactions with Start-Up Central and a visit to the illustrious law office of Arnon, Tadmor-Levy in the iconic Azrieli towers—a firm known for its advocacy for Israel’s leading innovators in tech. A pivotal discussion was also facilitated at i24 News in Yaffo, expertly curated by its CEO and founder Frank Melloul.
The president of the African Leadership Summit, Segun Olusegun Olanipekun, encapsulated the delegation’s sentiments, lauding Israel’s warm hospitality. “Beyond the allure of technological marvels, it’s the genuine relationships with the visionaries behind them that truly matter,” he stated. He further voiced an aspiration: with Heartland Initiative at the helm, to forge a relationship with Israel that not only receives but educates and empowers the African diaspora.
Yonathan Ben Yisrael and Gedaliah Blum championed the essence of their initiative – the magic of personal connections. “True collaboration springs forth when like-minded individuals connect,” observed Blum.
Deputy Mayor Hassan-Nahoum, the co-founder of the force behind the UAE Israel Business Council, shed light on the importance of cultivating genuine collaborations. “The collaborative successes we’ve seen with the Gulf can be a beacon, illuminating potential pathways for Israel-Africa partnerships,” she highlighted.
With a forward-looking perspective, Ben Yisrael unveiled exciting plans. “We’re keenly setting the stage to bring a robust delegation of about 20 business magnates and officials to Africa in the near future,” he announced.
As the delegates return to their home countries, it’s evident that this mission was just a beginning. With the Heartland Initiative’s unwavering spirit, the focus remains on nurturing these newly forged ties and furthering Israel’s global integration.