entrepreneurship for development’ at the UN General Assembly
Israel has introduced a resolution at the United Nations General Assembly to encourage entrepreneurship and creativity, entitled “entrepreneurship for development.” Daniel Carmon, Head of Israel’s agency for International Development Cooperation (Mashav), said the concept which has been proposed at the assembly, has already proven to be successful in Mashav’s activities and programs around the world especially in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Mashav has been working in the developing world since 1958, basically in capacity building and transfer of technology with specific governments in the fields of agriculture, health and education.
“We hope this resolution tabled at the General Assembly will have good results in many countries including Ethiopia, which supports the resolution,” said Carmon, adding that Mashav has already run programs and courses in Latin America, where the programs encourage small and medium size businesses to take the responsibility upon themselves to make good profits and to benefit the development of a country.
The announcement was made on the sidelines of a visit from an Israeli delegation, which came to Ethiopia on the direct instruction of the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of Israel, Avigdor Lieberman, to represent him in discussing a variety of issues which are political, economic, and regional in nature, between Israel and Ethiopia.
Carmon said that in the last few years Mashav had developed a concept of joint partnerships with different players in the development arena like Germany, the United States, Italy and others, like Ethiopia.
He further added that the agency has been sharing its country’s experience and knowledge especially in the agricultural sector. Harnessing, reclaiming and cultivating arid land is something in which Israel has plenty of practice since it has a land mass which is more than 50% desert.
The Agency has introduced water management for agriculture and for municipalities as well as a novel innovation called Drip irrigation which makes use of recycled water.
Israel reportedly is at the global forefront of efficient water usage; it uses almost 100 percent of its water resources with apparently no loss by wastage caused by inefficient networks of pipelines and other infrastructure failures. This sort of efficiency comes from research, applied experience, necessity and with the help of dedicated small scale farmers.
Mashav states that, as opposed to many other agencies who are technically of the financial aid variety, its strength is in capacity building, sharing or transfer of technologies and in its training programs, which it brings to the table, with Israeli experts in agriculture, education, in women empowerment, research and development.
“We work here, on health-related topics such as provision of doctors, early childhood education, prenatal clinics and so on,” said David adding that the agency’s experts come to Ethiopia, roll up their sleeves and start working by training those who will in turn train others, building a new generation of experts and professionals on the issues at stake.
Carmon also said that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has invited Mashav to share its expertise on a big project called “Feed the future”, which deals with global development goals, the need to tackle poverty, lack of food and health issues.
Mashav said the program will also deal with related topics such as women empowerment, with ideas like the building of small and medium scale enterprises in which they have a role, applied Research and Development (R & D) in the field of agriculture such as production of quality seed and issues of post-harvesting which aims to be a holistic approach to development with similar concepts planned in health and education.
In a related development, Israel plans to end the repatriation programs for the “Bete Israel” (the Ethiopian Jewish population) by the end of 2013.
Ambassador Avi Granot, Deputy Director General and Head of the Africa Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel said the Israeli government has resorted to repatriations of the Bete Israel in a measured approach and on a monthly basis.
“We realize that there is a strong emotional bond between Ethiopians and the Jewish people and also with the state of Israel.” said Granot, adding that there was also the reality that many Ethiopians proceed to Israel, not only for religious purposes but also for economic reasons, which he hopes a strong economic development in Ethiopia will curtail the need for Ethiopians leaving in search of opportunities.
It’s estimated that about 100,000 Bete Israel live in Israel and up to 3,000 still remain in Ethiopia.