On Monday, May 19, 2014, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman attended the first meeting of the Knesset Lobby for Strengthening the Relations Between Israel and African Countries initiated by MK Shimon Solomon.
Addressing the lobby, FM Liberman said that Israel, as an economically strong state and member of the OECD, must invest in foreign aid. In the case of Africa, it will reap both economic and political benefits.
Liberman said that Africa is an important objective of Israel’s foreign policy, and he will strive to have Israel accepted during the coming year as an observer in the African Union.
Economic growth in Africa last year was around 6%, compared to 0% in Europe.
Today, Israel maintains only 10 diplomatic missions in Africa, out of a worldwide total of 106.
In the 1970’s, Israel had 27 missions in Africa out of 80 worldwide.
Liberman noted that he sees investment in Africa as important on both the humanitarian and socio-political planes. There are many areas in which Israel can provide assistance and training: in agriculture, water management, medicine, combating terror, and more.
In order to further this policy, in early June, Liberman, accompanied by an Israeli delegation, will be visiting five African states.