SAFI celebrates Israel’s growing ties with Africa: Chad opens embassy in Ramat Gan

The South African Friends of Israel (SAFI) celebrate Israel’s growing ties in Africa, following the announcement by Chadian President, Mahamat Deby, that his country would open an embassy in Israel today, Thursday 2 February 2023. 

The Chadian leader is in Israel at the moment and will officiate at the inauguration of the embassy in Ramat Gan. “Chad and Israel are today at a decisive turning point in their relationship,” Deby told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when the two men met in Jerusalem yesterday.

Deby was welcomed in Israel with great diplomatic fanfare by President Isaac Herzog and Foreign Minister Eli Cohen earlier this week. Together, they planted an olive tree of peace at the Jewish National Fund’s Grove of Nations in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyau reported that this was a “tremendously important relationship with a major country in the heart of Africa”. SAFI welcomes this celebration, affirming that Israel remains a valuable partner towards the sustainable development of all African nations. 

This celebration comes at a critical time for the Jewish state, ahead of the African Union’s (AU) vote on Israel’s Observer Status in the regional body. While 44 out of 56 members of the AU enjoy diplomatic relations with Israel, South Africa has led a hostile campaign to remove it from the African organisation. SAFI believes this to be a remarkably counter-productive measure, given the fact that to date, Israeli technology and innovation has resulted in the provision of a stable water supply to over 3.5 million people in Africa, and to over half a million people in South Africa. In fact, our foreign policy should seek to promote Israel’s observer status in the AU. 

SAFI calls on the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) to end their hostility towards Israel, and requests a de-hyphenated approach to the conflict in Israel and Palestine. This will be the only way to ensure that South Africans continue to access the best that Israel has to offer, in Africa.


Media enquiries can be directed to:
Omnia Strategic Counsel via +27 84 552 3122.

Note to Editors: Kindly attribute quotes to Pamela Ngubane, Spokesperson for SAFI. The South African Friends of Israel (SAFI) is a movement that promotes dialogue between the South African Jewish community and the broader South African Faith, Cultural, Political and Civil Society community, in the pursuit of ensuring a balanced view and a better appreciation of Israel by all South Africans.

*IMAGE: View from the Kempinski Hotel in N’Djamena, the capital city of Chad (Wikimedia Commons)