Partner or Perish. Strategizing with Israel to accelerate Africa’s development.

When speaking about dynamites appearing in small packages, Israel is the perfect example of a small nation that has taught itself how to rise above obscure and tough situations. The nation of Israel has only been a modern independent State for 70 years and in this little time, this country has had the ability to give itself a name that has weight around the world and cannot be ignored.

Israel has learnt how to defend itself, raise poultry, irrigate and produce world-class technologies despite being surrounded by enemies

Aleinu Sustainable Aeroponic Greenhouse

To survive, the people of Israel have taken the mantra “innovate or die” seriously. By adopting that thought pattern, Israelis have caused the rest of the world to take notice of them. Instead of letting their internal and external problems discourage them, the people of Israel continue to be determined to be solution finders rather than perish in their problems. This is one of the ways in which Africa can learn from Israel, especially if it wants to overcome its challenges of food security, poverty and disease.

Despite Israel’s unfavourable climate of 60% desert, this country has managed to be one of the world’s top leaders in water conservation and greening the Earth. Through its drip irrigation systems and desalination processes, Israel has managed to find ways to reduce the usage of water for agricultural purposes by half. This means more food, more clean water and saving many crops from spoiling.

In a project that was led in the poverty stricken and water scarce township of Diepsloot, South Africa, the Academy of Jewish Learning and Thought together with DEISI International adopted Israeli drip irrigation technologies to fight water shortage and improve food security in the disadvantaged area. The Netafim based drip irrigation methods significantly improved the use of water in the community and assisted with food production. The ingenuity of Israel has fed them as a country and the rest of the world. Most of their agricultural techniques are being implemented in water scarce countries and are feeding millions of families

Inventions originating from Israel have made outstanding contributions in fighting poverty and famine related illnesses.

In January 2018, Israeli specialists assisted greatly in combating a cholera outbreak that occurred in Zambia. In 2014, when Africa experienced the spreading epidemic of Ebola, an Israeli company, SYS Technologies, manufactured sterile inflatable tents that were used in areas that were most affected.

These inflatable pop-up tents were used for quarantine purposes and were effective in isolating the patients treated for the Ebola outbreak and protecting the people around them from the disease. Israel also provided airports in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone with infrared cameras to measure the body temperatures of people travelling in and out of countries. This development enabled doctors to locate anybody who had abnormally high body temperatures and fever which are some of the symptoms of a person infected with the Ebola virus. From a medical perspective, have you ever imagined having a sensor that was able to detect a deadly disease such as cancer from a person’s breath?

Well, Professor Hossam Haich from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has developed a SniffPhone which acts more like a breathalyser to pinpoint exact diseases through a person’s breath. Interestingly, a technological device that tricks viruses such as HIV, hepatitis and Ebola to commit suicide has been established by an Israeli Vecoy Nanomedicines company. These discoveries are outstanding and can help many countries with the fight against life threatening diseases plaguing people.

In the world of computers, innovations from Israel have made communication much easier. Israeli inventions include the USB, a digital pen which transfers handwritings to electronic devices such as iPads and smartphones, the world’s smallest DNA computing machines and the walking device called ReWalk that assists paraplegics to walk with ease, stand up straight and climb stairs!

Israel’s high-tech discoveries are at the forefront of scientific research globally and have contributed significantly with the aid against natural disasters, diseases and poverty. In African countries such as South Africa, Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda, the use of solar panels invented in Israel has given people the opportunity to cook, use their electronics with ease, bath, refrigerate their foods and medicines, and light many homes and schools. Through the creativity of one nation, the doors of agricultural, scientific, medicinal, defence and technological collaboration have been opened for the improvement of African nations that need aid in times of trouble.

There is so much that Israel has to offer to many countries in Africa provided those countries open their arms to receive. The skills and expertise that Israel has to offer can positively impact the economies of nations. There is a need to develop strong ties with Israel if Africa aims to rise above it’s challenges. To those countries that still have reservations towards Israel, it is suggested that they should deliberately pursue the truth about what Israel is about and carefully study how Israel has related with other countries thus far. For the betterment of all people, Africa’s collaboration with Israel in a positive and peaceful manner has the potential of elevating developing nations on the continent and driving economic growth.

By Hope Masilo DEISI International Member

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