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Israel in Africa Business Booming

February 2, 1979
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Despite the cutoff of diplomatic relations between Israel and almost all of Black Africa, commercial ties continue to flourish quietly and have even grown stronger over the past few months. This emerged from a report compiled by Davar columnist Yehoshua Tadmor, published last week and now unofficially confirmed by knowledgeable sources.

All in all, Tadmor wrote, Israeli companies are engaged in projects throughout Africa which total some three-quarters of a billion dollars. The main areas of activity are construction, rood-building and agricultural expertise; The leading Israeli firms in the field are Solel Boneh, the mammoth Histadrut building company, and Tahal, the water-planning company.

Last year a new firm entered the field Agridav, whose director is Yehiel Admori, until recently head of the World Zionist Organization-Jewish Agency Agricultural Settlement Department. Agridav is involved in agricultural development and has undertaken projects in Africa worth $100,000, according to Tadmor.


A breakdown according to countries shows the following facts:

Zaire: Israelis are involved in agricultural projects there. Among them are experts hired by the Israel Foreign Ministry’s International Cooperation Department.

Nigeria: Solel Boheh is building a huge rood network, an undertaking unprecedented in its scope for the Histadrut-owned company. There is also Israeli involvement in other construction work in Nigeria.

Ivory Coast: There too, Solel Boheh is active, as is an Israeli construction fires owned by the Lederman family, owners of the Dan-king David chain of hotels. Israelis are building home and government official.

Kenya Israelis are involved in major housing projects there and in agricultural development.


Individual Israeli experts in various fields continue to be sent to numerous other African countries and young Africans continue to come to Israel for studies. In this way Tadmor wrote, several thousand Israelis are still connected with Africa and wide and variegated contacts are maintained despite the rupture of diplomatic relations.

Often, the head of an Israeli firm in an African capital will became a defector representative of Israel in the absence of an embassy and will meet with political leaders of the host government as well as with diplomats and businessmen from other countries resident there.

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