Innovation: Africa at a celebration during a clean water installation at Nyanza Village, Uganda.

Two big and vital questions that need to be asked are: is Africa self-sufficient? Can Africa Survive on its own? If you answered no to any of the questions above, then Israel is the solution. A number of countries have been making their way to Africa, most of them with good intentions and others with questionable motives. China’s involvement in Africa has always been questionable simply because of the influence they have in the politics of Africa, akin to what we call neo-colonial powers today.

Africa has always been stuck between a rock and a hard place. There have been a number of things that have led to this, chief amongst them being the obvious elephant of colonialism in the room, and as a result it is hard for Africa to develop international diplomacy and relationships with a number of countries. Colonialism has made it hard for African leaders to trust and accept any international help. Furthermore the illiteracy level in Africa is disgraceful, which has led to us having incompetent leaders who have managed to manipulate their positions to head in the wrong directions.

South Africans do not wake up every day and think about Israel or any other Middle-East country and their conflict. Simply because we have our own issues on the ground that affect us. Just to mention a few, the high level of unemployment, especially amongst graduates, the increasingly violent crime rate and the Gender-Based Violence that we are confronted by every day. South Africans are looking for solutions for all the ground issues that we are faced with. Israel is often chastised most by antisemitic and anti-Israel organizations in South Africa. These organizations will go to the extent of boycotting an Israeli company intending to buyout the ailing South African dairy company, Clover, affecting people’s jobs. These organizations do not care about the lives of ordinary South Africans who are without jobs and continuously live in adverse poverty. The motive of these organizations is always questionable because they have even boycotted and forced the shutdown of Soda Stream, an Israeli company which used to operate in the West Bank, forcing over 500 Palestinian families to go hungry and broke. People lose jobs, people become miserable and people are left stranded.

Israel has been building ties with some African countries including Ghana, Rwanda, Kenya and Senegal and more recently Sudan. These countries understand that Israel is a leader in the tech-world, in agriculture, in water technology and other fourth industrial revolution spheres. Multimillion-dollar American companies are operating smoothly in Israel and are injecting billions of dollars to the economy. Companies such as Google, Apple, AT&T, Amazon, Dell, Facebook and IBM have been established and are contributing to the development of Israel. Many other companies from countries such as China, Canada, Finland and the United Kingdom are also operating in Israel whilst Arabic countries have been performing research and development partnerships with Israel for years, albeit quietly. Now ask yourself: Where are African companies? Why are we being left behind? Developed and first world countries are already conducting big business with the government of Israel.

Africa has been faced with a water crisis for a very long time, and an Israeli company called Innovation: Africa came to the rescue in many parts of Africa. They provide clean water to the rural and disadvantaged areas in countries such as Ethiopia, Malawi, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Cameroon, amongst others. This water can be used for agricultural purposes as well. Innovation: Africa has completed over 300 projects providing light and clean water to 1.8 million people in 10 African Countries.

Other Israeli Aid came in a form of creating better health for all Africans. Hebrew University of Jerusalem came up with research studies on how to curb Malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. Many Israeli start-ups have developed medical technology that has been of great help to nurses and doctors in the most rural of clinics and hospitals across the continent and Israel is training doctors and nurses in Ghana in advanced, low-cost methods to address the country’s high infant mortality rate. Israel has been instrumental in the drive to provide voluntary circumcision to African men as a proven method to reduce the risk of contracting HIV.

Israel is really a considerable friend and ally in the problems we are facing in Africa. Africa will benefit from the water, sanitation and energy solutions, agricultural and irrigation ideas, medical equipment and health related matters, better business methods including technologically innovative ways to catch up with the fourth industrial revolution ambit.

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Klaas Mokgomole

Mr Klaas Mokgomole is a Wits Law Graduate and Africans for Peace Head Coordinator.

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