It can never be overemphasised that the coming of Israel to the AU is more than a blessing for Africa and its citizens
By Sisasenkosi Moyo
The nation’s of Africa and Israel are not only bound by a close geographical location but by spiritual and religious ties that go beyond the origin of mankind. With regards to religion, Africa comes from Israel and Israel from Africa, and it is imperative that these fundamentals are upheld.
The recent acceptance by the AU (African Union) to grant the State of Israel observer status, is not only a milestone in Israeli peace diplomacy, but it is also a huge opportunity for the nation’s of Africa to capitalise and maximize on what Israel has to offer in terms of innovation, technology and security.
It is a known fact that many parts of our continent are engulfed in terrorism, so Israel, a world leader in counterterrorism, could help restore peace to our troubled nations – an opportunity that every honourable leader should grab hold of with both hands.
The future of Africa is in agriculture and green energy, and Israel being an expert in these fields, means that Africa has the potential to triple its Agro GDP within the next few years provided that we embrace Israeli technology.
With the ongoing pandemic the world is facing, the timing couldn’t be better to embrace the Holy Land enabling our nations to take advantage of their vast wealth in medical science technology.
Medical research and manufacturing is a huge industry there, with the production of affordable ventilators, a key requirement in this Covid time.
Most of the tech giants like Facebook, IBM etc., are now based in the Sovereign State, so Africa becoming a close ally with Israel means we could well have access to these company resources within close proximity.
Programmes like Tour Israel, tourism and student programmes are also becoming available for the benefit of all our people.
The Christian community, with pilgrimages and tours, pose a huge opportunity for both parties to build long-term relationships based on a united common interest.
The recent negative response from the ANC’s deputy secretary-general on the AU granting Israel observer status, clearly shows that the ruling party of the South African government has little regard or interest in striving towards peace initiatives between Israel and her enemies.
The fact that the ANC undermines the opportunities and tremendous benefits that closer relations with Israel afford the nations of Africa, including South Africa, clearly shows how little they regard the welfare of her citizens.
It is therefore a great pity and indeed shameful for the ANC government and some Arab states to pursue aggression towards Israel when peaceful negotiations and reconciliation is being presented.
In terms of peace resolutions within the Middle East, Africa now has the chance to foster a sound peace process that includes all concerned parties.
In the past, we have the AU chair condemning Israel for its self-defence policy against Palestinian aggression, and so the recent welcoming of Independent State to participate in African affairs is not all a diplomatic move, but rather an act of God for those who believe in development and peace.
Recently we have witnessed Israel opening a diplomatic mission in UAE, Bahrain and some Arab states – a move that is strategic in nature, especially on peace and development related matters. As a global community, we surely can stand together, as divided we fall.
It is for this reason, coming to Africa, Israel should be seen as more of a blessing than a curse.
Reality shows that all those who have embraced Israel have benefited in many life aspects especially infrastructural development, for example, the UAE, the United States, and Bahrain are some of the leading states in development terms. Also, Africa has a problem with water shortage or incapacity in water management systems in countries like Zimbabwe, and the City of Cape Town.
Whereas Israel has the capacity to recycle 90% of its water.
Therefore, the observer status given to the state of Israel should be seen as an opportunity to address these continental challenges based on brotherhood.
In a nutshell, it can never be overemphasised that the coming of Israel to the AU is more than a blessing for Africa and its citizens.
Sisasenkosi Moyo is a researcher, currently doing Economics at Lupane State University in Zimbabwe
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