(Shutterstock) (Shutterstock)
renewable energy

Yet another Israeli company’s innovation improves lives in Africa!

By: United with Israel Staff

An Israeli company is bringing Israel’s renowned cutting-edge innovation to Africa.

Israeli solar power developer Gigawatt Global has entered into a landmark strategic relationship with the West African Power Pool (WAPP) by signing a deal with the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to build $1 billion of renewable energy projects in the region.

This breakthrough agreement has been made possible due to Israel’s deep and long-lasting relations with Africa, promoted especially by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s initiative to strengthen Israel’s ties with the continent. This strategy was highlighted last June in Liberia when he delivered the keynote address at the ECOWAS Head of State Summit, which the prime minister said was a dream-come-true.

On the sidelines of the summit, Guy Feldman, Israel’s Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, initiated a meeting attended by ECOWAS Energy Commissioner Meba Germain Essohouna; Dr. Morlaye Bangoura, head of the West African Chamber of Commerce; and Josef Abramowitz, Gigawatt Global CEO, who has been exploring options for solar fields in 10 African countries.

Following a series of meetings described by Israel’s Foreign Ministry as “rigorous,” as well as meetings with ECOWAS energy commission stakeholders, reviewing power supply forecasts, challenges and plans for the ECOWAS region, a letter of intent was signed between Marcel De Souza, President of the ECOWAS Commission, and the company, to develop an 800 MW of trans-boundary green energy projects across the West African region.

Inspiration from Israel

The deal will help build the West Africa Power Pool, which is an ECOWAS unit. It was set up to implement this agreement and create a regional electricity system.

The deal builds on an agreement inked by the US and Israel on December 4, 2017, in which the two governments pledged to work together to reduce energy poverty in Africa.

Feldman noted Sunday after the agreement was announced that “this MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) signed with WAPP is a powerful metaphor for the West and the rest of Africa, which paves the way for future Israeli innovation – joined by visionary people and institutions – that can challenge anything and create hope for all.”

Netanyahu has stated that his vision vis-à-vis Africa is “to have Israel come back to Africa and have Africa come back to Israel. It was a wonderful partnership in the ‘60s, derailed, now back on track in full force. This locomotive is going very fast.”

In the last two years, Netanyahu has been to Africa three times, meeting with presidents of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Rwanda, Togo, Botswana Kenya and Namibia, as well as the Ethiopian prime minister and other leaders.

In August 2017, Senegal and Guinea, two Muslim-majority West African nations, sent their first-ever full-time ambassadors to Israel.

“Just as Israel helped agriculture in Africa in the ‘60s, it can now help every realm of life in the beginning of the 21st century,” Netanyahu said.

Israel has a long history of sharing its expertise with African countries, and Jerusalem hopes that stronger ties will lead to a shift in voting trends at the UN and other global forums, thus reversing what Netanyahu has labeled the “automatic majority against Israel.”