For the first time since 2002, Israel has rejoined the African Union, regaining its observer status.
Aleligne Admasu, Israeli Ambassador to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, submitted his charter as an observer to the African Union on Thursday.
The African Union brings together all 55 countries of the continent.
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid stated that “this is a day of celebration for Israel-Africa relations. It will help us strengthen our activities vis-à-vis the continent and vis-à-vis the member states of the organization.”
Israel has diplomatic relations with 46 African countries and runs various collaborations in the fields of development, trade and aid.
MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, runs programs in several African countries.
In recent years, Israel has renewed its diplomatic ties with Chad and Guinea. Sudan, which joined the Abraham Accords a few months ago, also announced the normalization of ties with Israel.
The link with the continental body would allow the parties to collaborate in their battle against the COVID-19 pandemic and the war against terrorism throughout the continent.
The first watershed moment in Israeli-African relations came in 2019, when the Republic of Guinea, a Muslim-majority, restored diplomatic ties with Israel after a 49-year break.
In the following August, Senegal and Guinea, both Muslim-majority West African nations, sent their ambassadors to Israel for the first time ever.