(JTA) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and representatives of Israel’s private sector met with African leaders on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly to discuss Israeli innovations in Africa and developing countries. The event featured dozens of ambassadors and senior U.N. officials. “Africa excites our imagination,” he told the leaders in the closed-door meeting, according to The Jerusalem Post. “We would like to propose a friendship and a partnership with every one of your countries.”
Later, Netanyahu and Israel’s U.N. ambassador, Danny Danon, hosted an event in which representatives of Israel’s tech, solar and medical industries presented their innovations to diplomats from Africa and developing countries elsewhere. They included Energiya Global Capital, a Jerusalem-based solar and social development enterprise, which said it has already signed deals to deploy $250 million into commercial solar energy fields in Africa in the next 12 months. Its CEO, Yosef Abramowitz, said Energiya is prepared to invest $2 billion over the next four years through the White House Power Africa program, with the goal of providing clean electricity for 50 million people by 2020. The company launched East Africa’s first solar field, in Rwanda, in February 2015. Other innovations on display included a mobile “mini farm,” an atmospheric water generator and a cancer-detecting medical device.
Earlier this summer, Netanyahu visited Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Uganda. Israel is also seeking to become an observer state in the African Union.