Kenya and Israel have over the years enjoyed a strong and fruitful relationship based on mutual friendship, respect and trust.
This relationship has proved its value through numerous historical events and has remained steadfast due to continuous positive dialogue and effective bilateral and economic cooperation between the two countries.
The relations between the two states can be traced to Kenya’s pre-independent times when it was struggling to gain its sovereignty. During this period, Israeli experts from various fields were engaged with the rising Kenyan leadership and assisting with the difficult task that lay ahead to create and strengthen institutions that would later lead in the creation of the new Kenya.
Since then, there has been exchange of Kenyan trainees attending courses in Israel in the fields of agriculture, security and medicine with the desired result being to learn and bring back the Israeli know-how to Kenya. The cooperation between Israel and Kenya during this period has mainly been facilitated by MASHAV, the Center for International Cooperation, under the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Moreover, in a bid to further strengthen the relationship between the two countries, Israel through its Ministry of Industry and Trade opened the Economic and Trade Mission Kenya in 2018. The Israel Economic and Trade Mission mandate in the country is to promote, enhance and facilitate trade, investment and Cooperation in industrial Research and Development between Kenya and Israel.
The Economic mission is headed by Arnon Arbel who has a vast experience in trade, business development and understanding of the Kenyan economy. Additionally, the Economic mission has locally recruited trade officers who work to develop strategic bilateral partnerships and valuable collaboration prospects between companies in Kenya and Israel.
The Trade mission’s work is divided into several sectors of focus, including Cyber, Fin-Tech and security, agricultural technology, health and water technologies among others. Through the work of the economic mission Israeli companies are able to identify and do business with Kenyan companies, thereby imparting the needed technology, innovation and skills to take Kenyan companies to the next level.
One such initiative is the Agricultural fair in Embu county on January 28, 2021.
The Agri-fair will bring together agriculture companies and stakeholders from Israel to showcase their latest technology in agribusiness. The event which is dubbed the Israel-Embu Agricultural fair will not only showcase Israeli innovative technology but will also be an opportunity for Kenyans farmers to identify and adopt modern technologies that will ensure sustainable food production and security.
Israel has modern innovative state of the art technologies that can solve some of the challenges Kenya faces such as perennial droughts, loss of non-revenue water to cartels, perennial health equipment challenges and threat of cyber security amongst many others.
The economic mission has planned events to provide an opportunity for the Kenyan government and private companies to connect and interact with Israeli companies.
This will also help adopt modern Israeli technologies and solutions to help tackle some of Kenya’s perennial problems and fast track the country’s path to attaining vision 2030 and SDG goals.
Polycarp Otieno is a trade officer at the Embassy of Israel