On Africa Day, the foreign minister wishes to emphasize the importance which Israel attaches to its ties and cooperation with the African continent.
(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni met today (Wednesday, 24 May 2006) with African ambassadors serving in Israel, on the occasion of Africa Day.
The Organization of African Unity (today, the Africa Union) was established on May 24, 1963 – a day that has become an annual event marking the importance which the international community attaches to the African continent.
In the course of the meeting, FM Livni referred to the crisis in Darfour in Sudan, saying that, "Israel is following with concern the situation in Darfour, particularly the humanitarian aspect, causing the suffering of millions of innocent civilians. As a people who endured great suffering in the past, Israel cannot be indifferent to the distress of others. Israel views with greatest importance the need to alleviate the suffering of the people and will continue to support the international effort to cope with this human disaster."
On Africa Day, an occasion which is marked by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on an annual basis, the foreign minister wishes to emphasize the importance which Israel attaches to its ties and cooperation with the African continent. In 2005, 500 Africans visited Israel for courses and training sessions. In addition, dozens of Israeli experts were sent to Africa to provide training and guidance in the spheres of agriculture, rural and urban development, health, education, and community development.
Israel has historic ties with the African continent. The bilateral ties are based upon a sense of identification and shared destiny, transcending political, strategic, and economic interests. In the last two years, there has been a rise in the volume of trade. In 2005, the volume of trade stood at $1.7 billion.
In Israel, there are 11 missions from the following African countries: Angola, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa), Cameroon, and Kenya.