Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced the creation of two trading hubs in West and East Africa to increase trade between his country and the continent.
They form part of the partnerships he offered at the 51st ECOWAS Summit of Heads of State in Liberia’s capital Monrovia on Sunday.
“I believe in strengthening our relations which is one of our top priorities, national and international priorities of the state of Israel … Israel is opening two new trade missions – one in West Africa, one in East Africa – to significantly increase trade between our countries,” he told the West African leaders.
— Israel Foreign Min. (@IsraelMFA) June 4, 2017
He also offered to partner African countries in technology, agriculture, security among other areas to “help Africa achieve its rightful place among the people and nations of the earth”.
“Russia, China, India, are doing all these programs with us, and the benefits that Israel gives to them are the benefits we want to give to the people of Africa … It is the reason I became the first prime minister of Israel to visit Africa in decades,” he added.
He invited the leaders of the ECOWAS member-states to the Africa-Israel summit in Togo in October where he is expected to meet with the leaders of 25 African countries to discuss multilateral cooperation.
Benjamin Netanyahu is the first non-African leader to ever address an ECOWAS Summit and also the first Israeli leader to visit West Africa since the 1960s.
He embarked on a four-state East African tour last year and visited Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia, which marked the first time in decades an Israeli premier had traveled to Africa.
Before his visit to Liberia, he told local media that the purpose of the trip was to “dissolve this majority, this giant bloc of 54 African countries that is the basis of the automatic majority against Israel in the UN and international bodies.”
He called on the West African leaders to support the reinstatement of Israel as an observer in the African Union.