May 11, 2017 — New York, NY
To further advance Africa-Israel ties, AJC's Africa Institute hosted a dinner meeting for 15 African ambassadors and the Israeli ambassador to the UN. Together with AJC leaders, the diplomats discussed the expanding relationships, which will be addressed at the first Africa–Israel Summit later this year.
“I have always believed in the enormous potential for a strong engagement between Africa and Israel,” said Stanley M. Bergman, Honorary President of AJC and co-founder of the global Jewish advocacy organization’s Africa Institute, together with Dr. Marion Bergman.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu visited four African countries – Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Tanzania – last July, and in October he will attend the Africa-Israel Summit in Togo. More than 25 heads of state from sub-Saharan African countries are expected to attend the summit, which will focus on high technology, security, and development.
“There is increased interest in Israeli-African cooperation. Indeed, more than 40 African countries have diplomatic relations with Israel,” said Togo Ambassador Kokou Kpayedo. “African nations and Israel will work together to advance their partnership to address questions of peace and security, and promoting high technology and innovation as a strategy for development.”
In September, during the opening of the UN General Assembly, the Israeli Mission sponsored an exhibit, Innovation and Technologies in Africa, featuring Israeli agriculture, energy, and medical companies.
"There is a new era between Israel and Africa,” said Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon at the dinner. “Prime Minister Golda Meir was the first to build the relationship and Prime Minister Netanyahu continues that tradition today. We want to support the bilateral and multilateral relations between Israel and African nations, and we can achieve a great deal in New York.”
The AJC Africa Institute, founded in 2006, is chaired by Marion Bergman, and directed by Eliseo Neuman. Stanley and Marion Bergman hosted the dinner meeting.
Several of the ambassadors who attended had visited Israel with a delegation of UN ambassadors in December on a visit co-organized by AJC’s Project Interchange and the Israeli Mission.
The UN ambassadors from Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, and Togo attended the New York dinner.