During the Israel-Germany Government Consultations held today and as part of the growing strategic bilateral relationship between the two countries, the two governments have officially launched the “Israel-Germany Africa Initiative.”
The new dimension in the bilateral relationship is of particular interest and importance in the context of the history and relations between the two nations. Moreover, the unique relationship existing between Germany and Israel reflect Germany's awareness of its historic responsibility towards Israel. Both Israel and Germany have embarked on a path of working towards a better world, with a focus on developing countries and raising the standard of living of those who live in poverty.
The “Israel-Germany Africa Initiative” encompasses measures to contribute to efforts to mitigate pressing global challenges, such as the eradication of poverty and hunger, food security, climate change, sustainable development and other global challenges.
The initiative, which was originally decided by the two heads of state in 2012, is currently being implemented in cooperation with three African countries:
- Kenya: In the field of aquaculture around Lake Victoria. This activity is focused on enhancing sustainable ways of protecting Lake Victoria's environment and ecosystem by reducing the stress on the lake and improving the ecosystem of aquaculture around the lake. The next stage of this partnership is the expansion to the area of water treatment and management.
- Ethiopia: In the field of strengthening livelihoods for pastoral and agro-pastoral communities. The German – Israel Partnership is part of a larger program of adaptation to climate change. The partnership will be entering a second phase in June 2014 and will focus on drought resilience and dryland agriculture for nomadic communities, in the Afar region.
- Ghana: In the field of citrus production. This ongoing activity is focused on improving the value chain and productivity of citrus fruit, to meet the relevant needs and demands.
Within the context of “The Africa Initiative,” Germany and Israel will work together to extend their existing cooperation in areas of mutual interest, drawing on their respective comparative advantages to create synergies.
The partners implementing the Africa initiative are the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany (BMZ) and MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation at Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The expanded cooperation activities will be planned and implemented in partnership with the following countries and in accordance with the principles of aid effectiveness as outlined in the Paris Declaration, Accra Agenda for Action and The Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation.
- Burkina Faso: A partnership will be established to build the capacity of the local population in the southwest of Burkina Faso to adapt to the impacts of climate change and to address the severe degradation of the agricultural land.
- Burundi: MASHAV will join as a partner to the German-Burundi project to support climate change adaptation which aims to implement strategies and tools to reduce the vulnerability of the rural population to climate change impacts in selected, particularly in vulnerable regions of Burundi.
- Cameroon: Based on the existing project on reforestation and research and development of measures to reverse soil degradation in the Far North of Cameroon Israel and Germany will evaluate various options for a new trilateral cooperation.
Israel and Germany decided to mark 2015 as a Year of Jubilee, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations. Within this framework, the two governments launched a joint commemorative logo to mark the occasion.