Israel Mulls Expanded Presence in Africa

Recent meeting between Odinga and Netanyahu

Israel has expressed plans to strengthen relations in the East African region and the rest of Africa by using Kenya as a hub.

While launching the first Israel Experience Expo in Nairobi on Friday Israeli Ambassador to Kenya Gil Haskel said the strong historic cooperation between Kenya and Israel that spans 50 years will only be strengthened through such ventures as the exhibit.

“We are willing to go a long way in order to see this nation prospering. Our technology is your technology. Our agricultural solutions are your agricultural solutions. Our homeland security techniques are yours,” he assured.

Kenya has benefited immensely in terms of education, research and technological transfer from Israel.

The Middle Eastern nation has helped Kenya in security, disaster management, construction and infrastructure development, agriculture, food production and mining among others.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka who was represented by Trade Minister, Chirau Ali Mwakwere encouraged Israel investors to take advantage of the many business opportunities available in Kenya and Africa in general.

By 2011, trade between the two nations had grown to $150 million with Israel exporting finished goods such as agricultural machinery, irrigation equipment and medicine to Kenya, with Kenya in turn exporting primary products such as food and other raw materials to Israel.

The Vice President noted that Kenya was steadily growing into a significant trade partner, business hub and destination for international trade exchange in the continent which Israel could also benefit from.

The Expo will run for the next three days with a projection of 15,000 visitors from across Africa anticipated.

Vendors will range from agriculture and food security, construction and Infrastructure, health and beauty, mining and medical tourism.