Saturday, July 13, 2024
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Israel’s Increasing Engagements in Sub-Saharan Africa

Parag Das
Indian Council of World Affairs, Feb 24, 2023
“Israel has become an appealing partner partly due to the general political change in West Asia and also due to its growth over the years as a leading state in agricultural and water management technologies.”

The contours of Israel-Africa relations has witnessed new turns since the turn of the century. Benjamin Netanyahu returned to the premiership of Israel in December 2022 and Israel’s induction into the African Union (AU) as an ‘observer’ state remained a contested issue during the Session of Heads of State of African Union (AU) Assembly held recently in 18-19 February 2023. In this context it is also important to discuss Israel’s engagements with Sub-Saharan Africa countries while noting the interests that encourage Israel to engage with a continent as diverse as Africa. 

A brief overview of Israel Sub-Saharan Africa relations:

Israel has been working with Africa since its establishment in 1948. However, Israel’s partnership with Africa has been challenged by its relation with Arab countries in West Asia in general and the question of Palestine in particular. After the Yom Kippur war in 1973 only Malawi, Lesotho and Eswatini from Sub-Saharan Africa continued with their formal diplomatic relations with Israel. The scope for cooperation and resuming diplomatic ties opened after the Oslo Accords of 1993. The breakthrough came in later half of 2020 when Abraham Accords were signed and UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco established formal relations with Israel. Although only Sudan from Sub-Saharan Africa was a direct signatory, the consequences were far reaching for both Israel and Sub-Saharan Africa. It warded off the pressure from the Arab world on these countries against establishing ties with Israel and at the same time gave them ground for legitimacy of their future ties.

… [To read the full article, click here]

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