Israeli delegation visits Chad to build ties between two nations

Chad, a majority Muslim country, did not have any relations with Israel for over 40 years until contact was resumed in 2016.

By ALEX WINSTON
August 19, 2019 15:01
2 minute read.
Israeli and Chadian representatives with Minister for State Agriculture Haroun Kabadi

Israeli and Chadian representatives with Minister for State Agriculture Haroun Kabadi. (photo credit: ITAI MELCHIOR)

An Israeli delegation led by the Foreign Trade Administration of the Ministry of Economy and Industry visited the Republic of Chad earlier in August to examine economic cooperation between the two countries as well as the exchange of expertise in various fields.

Chad, a majority Muslim country located in north-central Africa, did not have any relations with Israel for over 40 years until contact was resumed in 2016.


In November 2018, Chadian President Idriss Déby visited Israel and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin. Netanyahu himself visited Chad in January, to formally re-establish ties with Chad.

Due to its landlocked status Chad has very little water, less than 2% of the country's land area, and has also has had to deal with the overspill of the conflict between terrorist-group Boko Haram and government of neighboring Nigeria. These are two fields in which Israel has expertise. 

Following the resumption of relations between the states, Déby requested that the government of Israel send representatives to examine the promotion of economic cooperation between the states and the transfer of knowledge on agriculture, water management, education and more.

The Israeli delegation met with ministers and CEOs from the Ministries of Economy, Finance, Agriculture, Water, Energy, Mines, Communications, Education and Health. In addition, meetings were held with international bodies such as representatives of the World Bank and the US Embassy to look into increasing foreign investment in the country.

Chad, whose main income derives from exporting oil and cattle, wants to attract foreign investors to both the mining sector and seeks to upgrade the country's physical and social infrastructure and to diversify the country's economy.

Itai Melchior, Foreign Trade Representative at the Ministry of Economy and Industry, noted that the delegation members were impressed by the desire of the Chadian government and the private sector to co-operate with Israel. "After an intensive two days of meetings, I can say with certainty that there is definitely room for co-operation with both the government and the business sector. I expect we will see visits on their behalf in Israel in the near future," he said.

Dr. Yosef Dreznin, Director General of the Ministry of Regional Co-operation, added, "The evolving relations between Chad and Israel are part of the fabric of Israeli relations with the countries of Africa, the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf in the fields of energy, water, agriculture and technology."


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