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Israeli, African officials celebrate ties at Tel Aviv gala

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Angolan Ambassador to Israel Osvaldo dos Santos Varela (right), president and founder of the Menomadin Foundation Haim Taib (center) and former Angola vice president Bornito de Sousa Baltazar Diogo (left) in Tel Aviv on November 13, 2022. (Sivan Farag)
Angolan Ambassador to Israel Osvaldo dos Santos Varela (right), president and founder of the Menomadin Foundation Haim Taib (center) and former Angola vice president Bornito de Sousa Baltazar Diogo (left) in Tel Aviv on November 13, 2022. (Sivan Farag)

Israeli and African officials gather in Tel Aviv at a gala headlined by outgoing Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, Labor Minister Meir Cohen, and Angola’s Labor Minister Teresa Rodrigues Dias.

Dias is visiting Israeli universities and exploring opportunities for collaboration. Bornito de Sousa, who stepped down as Angola’s vice president in September, is also in attendance.

The Moroccan, Ethiopian, Rwandan, Angolan, and Equatorial Guinean ambassadors join as well.

The event is hosted by Israeli businessman Haim Taib, whose Menomadin Foundation released its first report on its activities in Africa, which include a partnership with Save A Child’s Heart — which brings sick African children to Israel for surgery -– and Fundacao Arte e Cultura, which seeks to strengthen communities through art.

In the 1950s and ’60s, Israel enjoyed a heyday in sub-Saharan Africa, where its agricultural and defense expertise was welcomed in many newly independent nations. Those ties collapsed in the wake of the 1967 and 1973 wars, but in recent years, Israel -– in the form of its diplomats, NGOs, and the private sector — has been steadily expanding its presence in Africa.

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