Africa needs to break free from the four major insecurities that threaten the development of any nation, the head of Mashav, Israel’s Agency for International Development, Gil Haskel, told delegates to the third biannual Africa Leadership Summit (ALS) in Jerusalem from August 27 to 30.
Haskel, who was formerly ambassador to Kenya and non-resident ambassador to Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi and the Seychelles, told the gathering of African Christian and business leaders that food, water, border and personal security were necessary pillars for any nation to achieve meaningful development.
He noted that Israel was the only country connected to Africa by land and that just like Africa, Israel had suffered a history of colonisation.
“But Israel has overcome all these insecurities and is willing to share these victories with Africa,” he said.
“Development does not depend on the colour of skin. What Israel has achieved can be duplicated anywhere,” He said. “In the course of this conference and as you go around the city, you will witness the development, the technology and spirit of the land and people. Take it back with you to Africa,” he challenged.
Although the arid desert area of Israel gets less than 20mm of rain water annually, every household in the country is supplied with clean, potable, desalinated water and 80% of waste water is recycled to farms in the desert. The water technology has enabled Israel not only to achieve food security, but also to export food and flowers to Europe.
In a short, punch-packing keynote on Sacrifice, Altars and Priesthood, John Adejoro-Oluwa, editor-in-chief of Plummet Publishing, set the tone for the opening night.
He said that Jerusalem was a city which had fought many wars and will yet fight many more wars.
He prayed that not only would Africa stand with Israel in the time of peace but would also find grace and courage to stand with Israel in her time of trouble.
Adejoro-Oluwa said Jerusalem would fulfill her calling and that Africa was in Israel to connect with it.
“If we connect with Israel and Jerusalem, it is going to be the direction for the future,” the convener of the summit, Segun Olanipekun told the gathering.
“Africa Leadership Summit is not an event but a position we have taken to link Africa to the Abrahamic covenant. Covenants create culture,” Olanipekun said.
“We do not want to multiply the culture of mediocrity, debt, poverty and suicide bombings in Africa. We want to learn from Israel and perpetuate the culture of excellence, productivity, self-reliance and sustenance in every part of Africa, ” he said.
The summit, the third since the inaugural summit in August 2013, was significant in two ways. It was held during the 50th anniversary of the unification of Jerusalem following Israel’s decisive victory in the Six Day War against the six surrounding Arab nations.
And secondly it was about Jerusalem — “Africa has come to celebrate Jerusalem,” said Olanipekun, a lawyer, and director of the Institute for Christian Leadership Development in South Africa.
The highlight of the opening night was the presentation of the first edition of the Book of Signatures by Africans who affirm that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people.
The book was received by Natan Sharansky, a leading Israeli politician, human rights activist and author, who was instrumental to the emigration of three million Russian Jews which led to the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union, and Haskel.