Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is leaving on an historic visit to Africa Monday, after decades in which no Israeli prime minister has visited the continent. The Prime Minister has set improving and strengthening relations with African countries as a goal; he will visit Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia.
Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to Africa will begin in Uganda where President Yoweei Museveni will welcome him in an official ceremony with a 19-gun salute (21-guns is for presidents). Afterwards, an official ceremony will be held at Entebbe to mark 40 years since the Entebbe raid.
Later the Prime Minister will meet with East African heads of state who are traveling to Uganda especially for a diplomatic meeting with him. Participating in the meeting will be Ugandan President Museveni, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe, Zambian President Edgar Lungu and Tanzanian Foreign Minister Dr. Augustine Philip Mahiga. Prime Minister Netanyahu will also visit Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia where he will hold meetings with their heads of state and security and economic leaderships. He will make an historic speech before the Ethiopian Parliament.
Beyond its diplomatic aspects, Prime Minister Netanyahu also has major economic significance. The Prime Minister will be accompanied by approximately 80 business people from 50 companies, all eager to establish commercial ties with African companies and countries. Last week the Netanyahu cabinet passed a $13 million plan to strengthen economic links and cooperation with African countries.
Economic seminars will be held in Kenya and Ethiopia with the participation of the traveling business people and their local counterparts. The seminars are under the auspices of Kenyan President Kenyatta, Ethiopian Prime Minister Desalegn Boshe and Prime Minister Netanyahu.