[Interview] Robert Dussey: “This summit inaugurates a new era of multilateral partnership between Africa and Israel”
The head of the Togolese diplomacy, Professor Robert Dussey, returns from Israel where he met at length with Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu. Their discussions, which were very fruitful, resulted in the first ever Africa-Israel Summit in Lomé, Togo, from 16 to 20 October 2017. Remember that last August, the Head of State, Faure Gnassingbe, had himself stayed in Togo for four days. An official visit during which several conventions were signed. The forthcoming organization of this Summit on African soil (Togolese) is the materialization of the will to anchor the Hebrew State on the black continent.
AFRIQUEDUCATION: You have just visited Israel, at the request of the President of the Republic, Faure Gnassingbe, who allowed you to meet Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu. An Israel-Africa summit will be held in Lomé from 16 to 20 October. Can you tell us about that?
Professor Robert Dussey: I made an official visit to Israel on 23 and 24 January 2017, during which I met with Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu. Our discussions highlighted the holding in Lome of the first Africa-Israel Summit on “High Technology and Security”. The Summit will bring together African Heads of State and Government and Israeli leaders to discuss issues related to high technology, security and development. As you know, today the State of Israel is a benchmark in the aforementioned areas and the African continent, which has enormous potential, needs this expertise from the Hebrew State to continue its The emergence. This meeting will also be an opportunity for African and Israeli businessmen to share their experiences and forge new partnerships. So I can add that in the context of globalization, Africa needs to diversify its partners, as it already does with others. This Summit is part of the warming of relations between Israel and Africa.
The Israeli Prime Minister will be present in Lomé, just like several African Heads of State and Government, you have just confirmed. Will this summit be organized under the aegis of the African Union, or is it a bilateral initiative of Togolese diplomacy to which African countries are invited?
It is an individual approach of the Togolese diplomacy and this one derives from an observation. In reality, Israel maintains bilateral, political, economic and socio-cultural cooperation relations with many African countries. The Togolese initiative is to bring together the African countries and the State of Israel to define a global framework for its relations with a view to pooling efforts and means in order to make significant progress on the political level and on economic development And social. It is therefore the Togolese government in collaboration with Israel that mobilizes the other African countries in the context of this first Africa-Israel Summit.
What are the expected outcomes of this Summit?
This Summit will inaugurate a new era of multilateral partnership between Africa and Israel and will define common strategies to address the security and development challenges of the day. It is also hoped to launch a hub on technological innovations whose activities will boost different sectors of the economy including agricultural, medical, scientific, etc. This important event will allow the African and Israeli private sectors to get to know each other better in order to increase exchanges between Africa and the Hebrew State. This Summit will be sanctioned by a Declaration that will seal the commitment of both Parties to consolidate their relations.
What is the ambition of President Faure Gnassingbe by hosting this Summit which can draw him some troubles on the side of the Arab countries?
First, it should be noted that through this initiative, the President of the Republic, Faure Gnassingbé, wants to play a leadership role in the framework of the relations between Israel and Africa. Today, the dynamism of the Togolese diplomacy requires that Togo can put itself in the strategy, taking initiatives to make diplomacy a true tool of development. In welcoming this Summit, it is the international outreach of our country that will be affirmed, as recently, on the occasion of the Extraordinary Summit of the African Union on Security, Maritime Security and Development in Africa. Trouble? I do not see because we have very good diplomatic relations and solid cooperation with our Arab partners. I believe that the establishment of a co-operative framework between Africa and Israel will, I believe, encourage the creation of channels of political discussion in order to have positions acceptable to all on certain issues. Togolese diplomacy, under the enlightened vision of the President of the Republic, Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé, is expanding. The organization of this first Africa-Israel Summit is a new coup d’etat for this one and consolidates the influence of the Togolese Republic in the world. Through this outreach, Togolese diplomacy certainly attracts investment to our country in order to ensure the economic and social well-being of the people.
Source: Africa Education N ° 449 / February 2017
by Aristide Koné