“Africa is beset by difficulties and Israel holds the key to them,” said Togo President Faure Gnassingbe, who met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York last week.
Gnassingbe was one of three heads of state and 12 other African prime ministers and foreign ministers at the New York meeting, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Israel to support African development
This meeting follows Netanyahu’s visit to east Africa in July, where he held a summit with seven east African leaders, according to the Jerusalem Post.
“Africa excites our imagination,” Netanyahu said.
“We would like to propose a friendship and a partnership with every one of your countries.”
During his visit to Israel in August, Gnassingbe said that he was also able “to better comprehend how much Israeli expertise can contribute to Africa.”
He added: “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.”
Already Israeli firms have shown interest in investing in Africa, with East Africa’s first solar field launched in Rwanda in 2015 by project developer Energiya Global Capital.
Energiya Global Capital CEO Yosef Abramowitz said during a side event: “There are 600 million people in Africa without electricity and another couple hundred million who are powered using dirty and expensive diesel.”
He added: “Well, a new light is shining out of Zion.”
Abramowitz announced that his firm is looking to invest $2 billion in Africa over the next four years.
“We have already signed deals to deploy $250 million into commercial solar energy fields in the next 12 months, and we would like to do more.”
Technology is key
Confident that Israel holds solutions to many of Africa’s technological issues, Netanyahu told members of the audience: “Technology changes everything. And technology is related to so many areas: to healthcare, agriculture, education, and so much more.
“We want to share our knowledge and technology with the world.”