Why is Israel getting closer to Kenya and Rwanda? 2
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Juli Choquet
Wednesday 29 November 2017 Last update on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 At 9:48 AM

Benjamin Netanyahu started a tour over a dozen of East African countries meeting Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda and the newly elected president of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta. Why does Israel is getting that much engaged in this region of the world?

Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda on the left with Reuven Rivlin, president of Israel on the right last year in Jerusalem.

Benjamin Netanyahu started a tour on November 27 to meet up with several African countries. Foremost, the tour purpose is to set up bilateral agreements facilitating trade exchanges. If the relationships between Rwanda and Israel are historically good, it has not been always the case concerning Kenya.

Israel’s strategy is to strengthen ties with both Rwanda and Kenya. Rwanda is in reconstruction a the economic perspectives are good with 5,9% GDP growth and a 703 $ GDP per habitant registered in 2016. Kenya has a great strategic position and appears to be the lakes region leadership. With a 1 455 $ GDP per habitant, the country has reached 70 billion $ total GDP in 2016. The annual GDP growth is estimated at 5,8% (2016). For Israel, it is a great opportunity to open the trade with both countries.

Prime Minister Netanyahu announced that he is considering to open a direct flight between Tel-Aviv and Kigali the capital of Rwanda. This could push the number of tourists arriving in Israel to the top.

Furthermore, Israel is going to open an embassy in Rwanda to get a permanent representation in the country. Last year Paul Kagame the Rwandese president was hosted by Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

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