Israel opens embassy, Center of Excellence for Horticultural Development under MASHAV in Rwanda; Israeli-Rwanda cooperation in fields of education, academia, women empowerment, science and technology, innovation and agriculture.

Israel opened its embassy in Rwanda this week, another breakthrough for Israel’s growing relations with African states. Israel’s embassy in Kigali is the 11th in Africa, the last embassy established in Ghana in 2011. It will be headed by Ambassador Ron Adam, who stated on its inauguration, “This is a major step in the implementation of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s policy of Israel returning to Africa!” The Center of Excellence for Horticultural Development was also launched, a program coordinated by Israel and Rwanda under MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation. The center will boost Israeli-Rwanda ties and includes technologies and capacity building and technique training in horticulture.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry praised the new embassy and Center of Excellence and confirmed direct flights to Israel under RwandAir would begin in the coming months. The Ministry stated on the events, “Over the years, Rwanda has proven to be a steady, true friend to Israel. Like Israel, Rwanda is small in area but large in capabilities and aspirations. The opening of the embassy reflects the ongoing strengthening of relations between the two states and will enable expansion of the cooperation between them in many areas, such as education, academia, women empowerment, science and technology, innovation and agriculture.”

The embassy in Rwanda is part of efforts made by Prime Minister Netanyahu, who is also Israel’s Foreign Minister, to expand Israel’s ties in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. He was focused on meetings and bilateral talks on cooperation, trade and Israel’s innovation with African heads of state. During a meeting with President of Chad, Idriss Deby, last year, Prime Minister Netanyahu predicted the growth of Israel’s standing with Africa, stating at the time, “I’m going to drop a big hint: I hope to come to the center of Africa. And I wish to bring with me Israeli entrepreneurs, Israeli experts, Israeli companies, everything that can improve the life of the peoples of Africa, which is something we believe in. Israel is coming back to Africa, Africa is coming back to Israel.”

Israel renewed its communication with Chad three years ago through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under former director-general, Dore Gold. Talks have been ongoing since then with limited media coverage. Prime Minister Netanyahu is expected to increase his efforts to establish ties with African states, particularly with Sudan, Niger and Mali.

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