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African countries seek better economic and development ties with Israel

African countries are taking steps to strenghtening economic and diplomatic ties with Israel, and the first sign of this chance of policy from contries in the African continent came this past week in New York, at a meeting between African leaders and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Togo President Faure Gnassingbe urged his African counterparts to follow Africa’s interests through a better relationship with Israel.

“Africa is beset by difficulties and Israel holds the key to them. (…) while Israel may not be the sole nation to master the expertise required to allow the development of the continent, it also is the most dynamic and the most competitive,” said Togo President Faure Gnassingbe.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu told his counterparts that he would like to propose a partnership with “every one” of their countries.

“We want to share our knowledge and technology with the world,” said Netanyahu in front of the audience. “Technology changes everything. And technology is related to so many areas: to healthcare, agriculture, education, and so much more,” added Netanyahu at the forum, which also included many New York Jewish leaders and African representatives.

With Togo President Gnassingbe were two other presidents of African countries: Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Ernest Bai Koroma from Sierra Leone, alongside a dozen other prime ministers and foreign ministers from Africa. Among the Israeli businessmen present at the meeting was a delegation of Energiya Global Capital, a Jewish company which specializes in affordable solar projects across the world.

“There are 600 million people in Africa without electricity and another couple hundred million who are powered using dirty and expensive diesel. Well, a new light is shining out of Zion,” said Yosef Abramovitz, the head of Energiya Global Capital.

The company plans to provide eco-clean electricity to more than 50 million people by 2020 and has already opened the market in Africa, with the launch of East Africa’s first solar field, in Rwanda.

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